ZIMMERMAN, Minn. - The bodies of three people found dead in a home in Zimmerman Sunday have been officially identified by the Sherburne County Sheriff.
Sheriff Joel Brott says 35-year-old Stephanie Shields and her two children, 7-year-old Nolan and 6-year-old Josephine, were discovered by relatives about 10 a.m. Sunday morning.
Sheriff Brott did not say how the three died, or release any more information on a case that has this community on the fringe of the north metro community on edge.
Brott did tell the St. Cloud Times that Shields' husband moved out of the residence within the last week. He also said that the husband has no criminal history and that a review of calls for service going back five years shows that the sheriff's office has not been called to that residence.
Investigators do insist they are not looking for a suspect in the deaths at this time.
While the sheriff's department did not identify the children's father, the Minnesota National Guard sent out a statement confirming that the children's father is Sgt. 1st Class Mark F. Shields.
Military records indicate that Shields has served with the Minnesota National Guard since December of 1989. The National Guard says he is currently the full-time readiness noncommissioned officer for the 850th Horizontal Engineer Company. He deployed in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom from Sept. 2004 to Nov. 2005."
"Our thoughts and prayers are with the family during this difficult time," said Army Major Kristen L. Auge in a written statement.
The bodies of Stephanie Shields and her children were transported to the Ramsey Count Medical Examiners Office, where autopsies are being done.
More details of the case are expected Monday afternoon at a planned news conference.
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