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Three children found dead in Twin Falls home

By Rebecca Boone - The Associated Press - | Dec 22, 2005

TWIN FALLS, Idaho — An Idaho man was arrested Wednesday for investigation of first-degree murder in the deaths of three young children whose bodies were found in the home they shared.

Jim Junior Nice, 33, of Twin Falls was found with the bodies after police were called to the house to check on the children’s welfare, Twin Falls Police Chief Jim Munn said. Nice was taken into custody at the scene, questioned at the police station and then arrested.

Records show Nice had lived at the house since January 1995. Police have not said whether he is related to the children, whose names have not been released.

But Boise television station KTVB quoted an unnamed relative as saying Nice was the children’s father. The relative described the victims as twin boys, approximately 5 years old, and a girl, about 18 months old.

Sgt. John Wilson of the Twin Falls Police Department would say only that all three children were under the age of 10 and that their bodies had no visible signs of trauma.

“This is a tragic event for our community,” Munn said at a brief news conference. “Our hearts truly go out to the family of these children.”

He declined to take questions, saying the investigation “will take time to complete.”

Nice was being charged with three counts of first-degree murder, Munn said.

He had not been booked into the Twin Falls County jail early Wednesday evening, officials said. The county released a photo of Nice at Magic Valley Regional Medical Center. Hospital officials said they had no information on him, and a jail spokeswoman said a medical check was routine for inmates.

Police officers discovered the bodies of the three kids when they were called to do a welfare check at the home Wednesday morning. Nice and the victims were alone in the single-family home, Wilson said.

On Wednesday evening, weeping family members met with police investigators.

The small, one-story house is on a large, tree-filled lot. Neighbors said that the children sometimes played in a tree house in front of the home.

“They weren’t out much, they stayed to themselves,” said Laura Sales, a neighbor who also confirmed that Nice lived there with the children.

Other neighbors said the family regularly attended a local Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints chapel.

As darkness fell Wednesday, a group of carolers from the church sang at the some neighborhood homes. They declined to talk to reporters.

Jennifer Daugherty, who lives half a block away from the Nice home with her father Bernie, said her 5-year-old daughter Hannah rode bikes with the children.

“I don’t think she completely understands what is going on,” she said Wednesday evening, looking at her daughter.

“It makes you wonder if there was something you could have done to stop it,” said Bernie Daugherty.

“That’s the worst part,” said Jennifer Daugherty. “Nobody knew anything was going on.”

This story appeared in The Daily Herald on page C3.

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