By:  Patti Weaver

(Ripley, Okla.) — “Two kids were tragically murdered” and a missing man apparently committed suicide Tuesday night north of Ripley, Payne County Undersheriff Kevin Woodward told KUSH today.

“The Payne County Sheriff’s Office’s hearts and prayers go out to the family,” the undersheriff said.

The names of the victims have not been released since “this is still a very active investigation,” the undersheriff said.

Shortly before midnight Tuesday, the Payne County Sheriff’s Office received information from the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office on a missing person case, the undersheriff said.

The Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office had a possible last known location for the missing man in rural Payne County around Highway 108 and 56th Street north of Ripley, the undersheriff said.

When Payne County deputies went to the location, they found a vehicle belonging to the missing man, the undersheriff said.

Deputies found the missing man and two minor children deceased at the scene, the undersheriff said.

The Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation was contacted to assist Payne County investigators, along with the Oklahoma Medical Examiner’s Office, the undersheriff said.

Preliminary investigations indicate a murder-suicide, the undersheriff said.

“This is extremely tragic,” the undersheriff said.