Children stabbed, strangled before Missouri fire

Two children found dead along with their mother after an arson fire in the family's Missouri home appeared to have been stabbed and strangled, and the deaths are being investigated as a possible double-murder suicide, police said Thursday.

Springfield police Lt. Tad Peters said it appears Noah Adams, 4, and Lilly Adams, 2, had been stabbed and strangled. He said fire officials responding to Saturday's fire were suspicious, and the case quickly became a homicide investigation.

Preliminary autopsy results indicate the children died from injuries unrelated to the fire.

An autopsy performed on their mother, Jassez Sager, 27, found she had fire injuries that likely contributed to her death. The final determination of cause of death hasn't yet been made.

Peters, the criminal investigations section commander, said the investigation remained open, but the possibility that the deaths were a double-murder suicide is "certainly the way the investigation is looking."

"We don't have anyone else at this point that we are searching for," Peters said.

Peters said Sager was a single mother who moved with her children to Springfield a few months ago. He said police didn't have a history of dealing with the family.

Fire investigators determined the blaze had been intentionally set in the bedroom, but Peters had no addition details about how it was started. Peters said only a portion of the house burned. He said he couldn't say where in the house the bodies were found.