Father Calls For New Laws After Carbon Monoxide Death

Lauren Johnson Considered 'Global Citizen'

The father of a University of Denver graduate student says her death by carbon monoxide poisoning is a tragedy that never should have happened.

Donald Johnson said his 23-year-old daughter Lauren had a passion for social justice and wanted to change the world.

"She just had her sights set so high and we're gonna miss not seeing the answer to that question," Johnson said tearfully as he pored over pictures of his daughter in his home Tuesday night.

Donald called Lauren his "global citizen," a young lady whose passion for social justice took her all over the world. Lauren, a graduate student studying human rights at the University of Denver, was just five days away from taking a humanitarian trip to Israel.

"I was getting all set to worry about her going to Israel. I wasn't expecting this," said Don.

It turns out the real danger was in Lauren's own apartment. A broken flue cap on top of her building had not been replaced and high levels of carbon monoxide seeped into her apartment, killing her.

"We are profoundly in shock today to see that we have lost one of our, one of our soldiers," said Micheline Ishay, one of Lauren's professors at DU.

The Johnsons said it's a tragedy that simply should not have happened, but they are not blaming the apartment complex for negligence.

Donald says in honor of his daughter he will support legislation that would require carbon monoxide detectors to be mandatory in some homes.

"We know nothing happened intentionally," he said. "We're just devastated that a beautiful young life has been snuffed out and that's the tragedy."

Funeral plans are still pending but there will be a memorial service for Lauren Johnson at noon on Jan. 9, at the University of Denver.

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