A River Falls mother's plea: Don't sell home my girls died in

  • Article by: PAM LOUWAGIE , Star Tribune
  • Updated: November 19, 2012 - 9:06 PM

Proceeds would enrich their murderer, she wrote in e-mail.

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Jessica Schaffhausen objected to her ex-in-laws’ attempt to sell the River Fall, Wis., house where her daughters were killed.

Photo: Jerry Holt, Star Tribune

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The mother of three young girls killed in their River Falls, Wis., house reacted sharply after learning her ex-husband's family had placed the home for sale even as he faced trial for the slayings.

On a Facebook page dedicated to the girls, Jessica Schaffhausen posted a copy of an e-mail she had sent to an Edina Realty agent warning that a sale would let Aaron Schaffhausen get "tens of thousands of dollars."

"What you may not have thought through in accepting this job is that if you do succeed in selling it that you will allow their murderer to not only benefit financially but will also disqualify him for the public defender he is using which would mean that the entire criminal trial process would be set back drastically," the e-mail said.

"I understand that a sale is a sale for you but I needed to let you know exactly what you are contributing to and if you can still sleep at night with that knowledge then by all means move forward as your conscience dictates," the posting said, signed: "A grieving mother hoping for some kind of justice, Jessica Schaffhausen."

A public relations consultant working with Edina Realty, Maria Verven, said Monday that, after receiving Schaffhausen's request, the agency canceled the listing Friday and will no longer handle it.

The girls' grandmother had approached the agency about putting the house up for sale, Verven said.

The four-bedroom house was listed at $229,900.

The three children -- Amara, 11; Sophie, 8; and Cecilia, 5 -- were found dead on July 10 in the home at 2790 Morningside Av., where they had lived with their mother after their parents divorced.

Aaron Schaffhausen, who was visiting from his new home in North Dakota, was charged with three counts of first-degree intentional homicide and arson after authorities found the deceased girls tucked into their beds, blankets drawn to their necks. Authorities also found a gas fireplace turned on and gasoline poured in the basement.

Aaron Schaffhausen is scheduled to appear in court for a hearing on Wednesday.

Pam Louwagie • 612-673-7102

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