The three young boys missing from Camden, NJ since June 22 were found dead Friday night in the trunk of a car by one child's father.
The father jumped away screaming and sobbing after his grim discovery.
Cruz, 6-year-old Daniel Agosto and 5-year-old Jesstin Pagan had been missing since Wednesday.
"We are saddened by the events that have turned up this evening," Police Chief Edwin J. Figueroa told reporters late Friday. "As you know ... the three children have been found, and they were found in the trunk of a car."
The bodies were found about 7 p.m. in the Cramer Hill neighborhood.
The cause of their deaths is unknown, and police were not ruling out the possibility that it was an accident. Cops say the car -- a maroon Toyota Camry -- was an older model, and had no device in the trunk that would allow someone inside to open it.
Figueroa didn't know when the autopsies would be completed.
"Preliminary indications show that the vehicle was located there" when the hunt for the boys got under way in that area Thursday morning with the help of a bloodhound, he said.
"We have a very fresh and active investigation in this case," said Camden County Prosecutor Vincent Sarubbi at the same news conference. "There are many issues that we have to look into."
The families of the children, he said, were "extremely distraught and grieving." They were receiving counseling to help them cope with their losses.
Sarubbi initially said investigators were treating the area where the car was found as a crime scene, but then said it was an "open investigation. We haven't determined whether this was foul play or just a tragic accident."
After the discovery, police cordoned off the area with crime tape, then hung sheets over it to hide the car from view near a wooded area.