Police investigate deaths of Colorado Springs mom, 13-year-old twins as homicides; no arrests

By P. Solomon Banda, AP
Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Police probe Colo. mom, twins’ deaths as homicides

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — Police said Tuesday they are investigating the deaths of a Colorado Springs woman and her 13-year-old twins as homicides and have not ruled out anyone as suspects.

Police Sgt. Steve Noblitt identified the three found dead in their home Monday as Rene Ogden, 38, and her two children, Chase and Olivia. Noblitt said during a news conference Tuesday that police have talked to Tommy Ogden about his wife and children and he is cooperating with investigators.

Tommy Ogden called police Monday after work and said he found his wife dead. Investigators found the children’s bodies after entering the home.

Investigators haven’t ruled out a murder-suicide, Noblitt. The deaths are being investigated as homicides because of “obvious trauma to the bodies,” he added, but declined to elaborate. No arrests have been made.

Tommy Ogden was a sergeant first class in the Army and retired in 2006 while stationed at Fort Carson, south of Colorado Springs, Denver’s KUSA-TV reported, citing the Army Human Resources Command.

Army officials didn’t immediately return messages to The Associated Press.

Brad Ake of Cedar Park, Texas, told The Gazette of Colorado Springs he was friends with Rene Ogden on Facebook and spent hours online talking and playing games with her.

“She was very sad most of the time,” Ake said. “Whenever I talked to her, chatted to her, it always seemed like she was depressed.”

Cheri Wells and her 13-year-old daughter, Brandy, stopped by the Ogdens’ house Tuesday to leave a SpongeBob SquarePants balloon and stuffed flower on the mailbox. Wells said Brandy and Olivia met in the third grade and remained friends despite going to different schools.

Brandy described Olivia as a fan of Harry Potter, Mark Twain, SpongeBob and video games.

“She taught me how to draw. She taught me to do better math,” Brandy said, recalling her friend who she said never got in trouble.

Cheri Wells said she had met Tommy and Rene Ogden but didn’t know them well.

“They seemed like real nice, loving people, a loving family, like they cared about their kids,” Wells said. “It’s just something you wouldn’t expect. It’s shocking.”

The deaths come as the city’s resources have been taxed following four separate high-profile cases in the past 10 days, including two other slayings and two Craigslist ads involving newborn babies.

On Friday, police scrambled to find the person who posted a Craigslist ad that said a newborn baby would be placed in a trash can at an apartment complex. Police searched the area but found no baby. Detective Sgt. Bill Dehart said investigators traced the ad to a home but discovered the people there did not place the ad.

The posting showed an infant with its umbilical cord still attached and said the mother had been kicked out of her home shortly after the baby was born. “A child will die if no one comes to get it” police quoted the ad as saying.

Early Tuesday, a similar ad was placed on Craigslist, prompting another search by police — and again, no child.

“It has literally pushed our resources to the extreme,” Police Chief Richard Myers said of the four major ongoing investigations in the city about 65 miles south of Denver.

“However, they never give up, and we do get results in spite of the stress on our resources.”

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