ST. LOUIS, Mo. - A St. Louis area AMBER Alert was sent out around 7:45 p.m. Saturday about two missing boys. The Missouri State Highway Patrol issued the alert for 5-year-old Ethan Cadenbach and his 4-year-old brother Owen Cadenbach.
According to a deputy chief with the St. Louis County Police Department, an alert was issued for 43-year-old Christopher Cadenbach and his two children. Christopher Cadenbach had a $100,000 bond out for his arrest for domestic violence.
According to the deputy chief, Christopher Cadenbach went to his mother's house where his boys were. The four went to a park. The mother told police her son was saying things like he "wasn't going to be taken alive" and he wanted a "suicide by cop".
Cadenbach allegedly took his mother's car and left with his sons. His mother then called the police, prompting the AMBER Alert.
A park ranger from Cliff Cave Park was closing up when the deputy chief said the ranger spotted a vehicle matching the description of Christopher Cadenbach's.
As officers approached the car, the deputy chief said they heard gun shots. Police fired back.
"It was pitch black out," the deputy chief said. "They were trying to defend themselves."
When officers got to the car, they found the two boys appeared to have been shot by their father. Police also say it appears Cadenbach shot and killed himself.
During a press conference, the deputy chief said Christopher Cadenbach had an "ex parte" order for his estranged wife, but it's not clear if he was allowed to be around the children.
Officials will keep the park closed until the investigation is complete.