A mother of two, suffering from ill health and debt, strangled her two children before hanging herself at her home in Somadevanahalli in Magadi taluk on Friday night.
The bodies of Radha (26), Yamuna (4) and Yashoda (two months) were found by Doddahonnappa, when he returned home from work.
The police said he had last seen his family at lunchtime when they all ate together.
Doddahonnappa, a gas plant employee in Solur, and Radha were married for five years. After she suffered complications during her first pregnancy, Radha was advised to not have any more children.
She was also anaemic and was advised complete bed rest when the second baby was born. The family plunged into debt because of medical expenses and Doddahonnappa was doing all the household chores himself.
The police suspect Radha considered herself to be a burden and decided to take the drastic step. Her mother Lakshmamma told the police there was no dowry harassment.