Neil J. Lofquist
The all American family; mom, dad, 2.5 kids and the house in the suburbs with the white picket fence. Lauren Lofquist, 8, was a typical child living the dream. She was a beautiful second grader who loved the Girl Scouts, swimming, playing with her little brother and dreamed of one day becoming a nurse. Her green eyes sparkled with curiosity and everyone said that they loved the child, especially her father, Neil. He really loved his daughter, a lot.
By all accounts, the Lofquist family was a happy; close knit, loving and completely normal suburban family. Neil, 43, had an MBA and was successfully self-employed while his wife, Lisa, was an occupational therapist. Both were active members of their community and Neil taught Sunday school at their church. Neighbors and friends reported that Neil took an active interest in his children, coaching soccer and being a trustee of the local library. He would often be seen playing with his children. Life was good.
No one can really know what goes on behind closed doors and families often mask the madness that is going on inside the home. According to Lisa, the family, over a couple of months, had slowly begun to fall apart. Neil had begun to act erratically and Lauren began to close herself off from the family and her friends. Still, Lisa did not suspect anything was truly amiss.
On Sunday, March 26, 2006, the family began their day as normal, sitting down to breakfast together before heading off to church, where Neil taught Sunday school. The day seemed to progress like any other Sunday. The family spent time together and even played a card game. Neil appeared attentive, loving and normal. That night, Neil offered to put the children to bed while Lisa watched television.
A short time later, Neil returned and Lisa noticed a laceration on his hand but more alarmingly, he was acting incoherently. Lisa had already received a telephone call from a neighbor regarding Neil’s bizarre behavior earlier in the evening which she dismissed as a hormonal imbalance. However, the more that Neil muttered and pace, she became increasingly more concerned that maybe, just maybe, he was nuts or suffering a stroke.
She finally called the neighbor and asked them to babysit while she took Neil to the hospital. Neil demanded on taking their son with them, but insisted on letting Lauren stay home and sleep. The neighbor and Lisa pleaded with Neil to allow the son to stay home, but Neil was adamant on taking the boy, stating, “it may be the last time. I won’t do anything bad.” Lisa felt that Neil needed immediate medical attention, so she loaded her husband and 6-year-old son up in the family truck and set off for the emergency room.
Once at the hospital, Neil began babbling and taking nonsensical, but finally told the staff that he had killed his daughter. Lisa became alarmed and called the neighbor from the hospital and asked them to check on Lauren. While on the phone, the neighbor looked in Lauren’s bedroom, but could not find the child. The neighbor began frantically searching the home, before finding Lauren’s lifeless body in a blood-smeared bathroom with her head hanging inside of the toilet. The neighbor immediately called 911 and began CPR. Lauren had been strangled, drowned in the toilet and stabbed in the neck. All attempts to resuscitated Lauren were unsuccessful.
After Neil was taken into custody for questioning, he made a 12-hour long confession. He stated that he had first raped his daughter two nights before he killed her and then again just before he tried to strangle her for 20 minutes. When the strangulation didn’t seem to be effective, he dragged his daughter into the bathroom and plunged her head repeatedly into the toilet before stabbing her in the neck, while he held her head underwater, he wanted to be thorough.
He told police that he had to kill his daughter because his daughter was the devil and would end the world. He had confirmed his suspicions during the family card game earlier in the evening when he saw the numbers 666 associated with Lauren. On the other hand, his son was the chosen one who would save the world (nice way to cover all the bases, huh). Neil later recanted his confession to sexually assaulting his daughter although his DNA was retrieved from underneath her fingernails and he was found with deep scratches believed to be caused by fingernails, on his buttocks. He was charged with first-degree murder and two counts of sexual assault.
Neil pled guilty, but mentally ill to murder and on April 16, 2009 was sentenced to 100 years in prison, without eligibility for parole. The sexual assault charges were dropped in accordance with the plea agreement. Now I am the first person to argue that the truly mentally ill do not belong inside of prison, but instead should be placed in a secure mental health facility.
Neil’s lawyers claimed that he is schizophrenic and as long as he is medicated, he is not a danger to himself or anyone else. Too late for Lauren. But what is incredible is that a man, who at the age of 43, with no previous documented history of mental illness, completed an MBA, ran a successful business, had strong interactions within his community, suddenly, became schizophrenic. Conveniently around the same time he started raping his 8-year old daughter.
Originally, Neil was charged with capitol murder and faced the death penalty. But his lawyers argued he was and currently is, insane. But they admitted, “…an insanity defense would have been an uphill battle at trial because experts didn’t agree he was insane.” Really? Shocking.
Lisa divorced her husband and has moved on with her life. She said after the sentencing, “As a mother, there are no words adequate enough to express the agony and pain I have suffered through the loss of Lauren,” she said, struggling through tears. “To have someone within my own family, someone I vowed to love, honor and cherish, commit such a horrific act against his own flesh and blood is unimaginable. Not in a million years would I have thought a crime of this sort could ever happen to my family. The things in life I valued, like family, trust, stability, and security, were shattered by the selfish acts of one person.”
At least no one will ever have to worry about Neil Lofquist hurting another child, as he will never be released from prison.
Does Neil J. Lofquist Belong In Hell?
- He sure does (96%, 770 Votes)
- No (4%, 36 Votes)
Total Voters: 806
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