Looking at photos of the Lofgrens, it's hard to imagine a more perfect family. Which only makes the cruelty of their fate that much more heart-wrenching. All four died in 2008 of carbon monoxide poisoning in an Aspen rental home. Now, their kin have filed a civil suit against Pitkin County and others over these horrific deaths; it documents the awful circumstances. Get details below -- and see a photo gallery of Lofgren photos that bring the tragedy home.
As noted in the Lofgren family civil suit, parents Parker and Caroline Lofgren, along with their adorable children, Owen, ten, and Sophie, eight, traveled to Aspen to spend Thanksgiving weekend at a facility called The Lodge. That evening, the lawsuit states, snow began falling on their rental home. As snow accumulated on the roof, a sensor triggered a gas-fired boiler called the "Munchkin" to melt it.
But something went terribly wrong. At five p.m. on November 28, 2008, family friends discovered the Lofgrens' bodies -- and they were in fearful condition, according to the lawsuit:
The decedents Parker and Caroline Lofgren were found in their nightclothes on the bed. Caroline had hemorrhaged from her mouth or nose. Owen was found on the floor by his father beside a nightstand. Sophie was found on the floor by her mother with her face bloodied. Blood was also found on the bedding of one of the bunk beds in the children's guest suite.
It was later confirmed that carbon monoxide poisoning killed the Lofgrens, with evidence pointing to the Munchkin boiler. The suit alleges that the causes of the poisoning included, but were not limited to, a disconnected exhaust vent, a disconnected fresh air intake vent, a defectively designed boiler, an improperly installed HVAC system and the absence of a carbon monoxide detector. The document argues that several of these factors "were open and obvious violations of Pitkin County Code."
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A release about the suit points out that the Lofgrens' surviving loved ones were instrumental in getting carbon-monoxide-safety laws passed in four states, including Colorado. The suit is intended to raise awareness of these issues further, and it's likely to do so, especially after people get a look at the Lofgrens. Page through below to see photos of a family gone far too soon.