Justice Suspended in 8-Year-Old's Murder

Child's family says three years is too long to wait

It was a solemn anniversary for Lisa Lofquist Thursday. 

Three years ago last night, her 8-year-old daughter was found slain in the family's Clarendon Hills home, in a crime that shook the sleepy suburb to its core. 

Lauren Lofquist, an inquisitive, green-eyed second grader, who loved soccer, school, baseball, playing with her friends and being a Brownie, according to the Daily Herald, was brutally murdered. The child, whose mother called her "their little princess," was also sexually abused.

Her father, Neil J. Lofquist, 44, sits in the DuPage County jail awaiting trial for her murder.

"We are outraged that justice has not come to this case," a family spokesman told the Daily Herald. "Three years is much too long for a family to live in limbo. Three years is much too long to await justice."

The DuPage County State's Attorney Joe Birkett agrees.

He said his prosecutors are working diligently to bring the case to an end, and the paper said attorneys  meet regularly with Lauren's mother to update her.

"I always tell homicide victims' families that this is a long process," said Birkett, who has two of his top criminal prosecutors on the case. "The system is designed to safeguard the rights of the accused to ensure a fair trial and to hold the government to its burden of proof beyond a reasonable doubt.

"You have to understand it always takes more time, especially in a murder case, when the stakes are as high as they are. That's part of the system but, at the same time, the rights of victims and their families should be respected."

Lofquist is accused of choking Lauren in her bed, later stabbing her in the neck while her head was submerged in a bathroom toilet on March 26, 2006, the paper said.  He has admitted to having touched the girl inappropriately on two occasions, including the night he killed her, according to prosecutors.

Lofquist did not have a documented history of criminal or mental health problems, but his then-wife, Lisa, who later ended the 16-year marriage and retained sole custody of their young son, reported a pattern of progressively paranoid behavior in the two months leading up to the murder.

He is due to appear in court again April 16.

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