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Originally published Tuesday, October 23, 2012 at 5:58 PM

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2 toddlers, mother found dead in California home

A woman and her two toddler children were found dead in a violent and horrific scene that authorities said has shocked even veteran law enforcement.

The Associated Press

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SACRAMENTO, Calif. —

A woman and her two toddler children were found dead in a violent and horrific scene that authorities said has shocked even veteran law enforcement.

The children, a 2-year-old boy and 3-year-old girl, and their mother, who was in her 20s, suffered "a lot of trauma," Sacramento County Sheriff's office spokesman Sgt. Jason Ramos said.

Ramos said officers were not yet revealing how they died, but said: "This is somebody who confronted a family inside their homes and took their lives very violently. It's shocking, even to veteran law enforcement."

The bodies were found Tuesday afternoon by the children's father when he returned to the home in Rancho Cordova, about 15 miles east of Sacramento. The man ran to a neighbor, who called police.

Ramos said officers found the "extremely distraught" man sitting in front of the house when they arrived. A 6 month-old infant was found crying inside a crib in the back of the house, authorities said.

The man has not been identified, though authorities said the family is of eastern European descent. Officers detained the father and the neighbor for questioning, though they have not been identified as suspects.

Authorities are canvassing the neighborhood and asking the public for help looking for the family's white 2005 Chrysler Town and Country minivan, which has the license plate number 6LFY276. Police say the vehicle was stolen from the home.

By early evening, police and television reporters had poured into the block of ranch-style houses around the corner from an elementary school. Several television reporters said that the officers exiting the home were visibly shaken.

Ramos said officers "rarely see" a crime of this magnitude.

"We're looking into everything; we have a mom and two kids dead," he said.

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