Ex-mayor’s son dead from apparent suicide

Rick Carroll
The Aspen Times
Aspen, CO, Colorado

ASPEN – A son of former Aspen Mayor Helen Klanderud has died of an apparent suicide.

Police found Soren Klanderud, 44, about 1 p.m. Friday as part of a welfare check. Klanderud apparently hanged himself at a unit at the Truscott Place affordable-housing complex, according to multiple sources.

Klanderud’s relatives were notified.

“The Aspen Police Department would like to express their sincere condolences to the Klanderud family, who play an active role in many aspects of our community. Our thoughts are with you during this time,” said a statement the Police Department issued Friday night.

Helen Klanderud served as Aspen’s mayor from 2001 to 2007 and remains active in community affairs.

Pitkin County Sheriff Joe DiSalvo, acting as the family’s spokesman, said it would have no comment at this time.

“We respect the privacy of Helen and the family and let them deal with this in their own way, and they’ll speak when they’re ready,” said the sheriff, whose sister, Petrina, is the girlfriend of Erik Klanderud, an older brother of Soren.

Soren Klanderud also has a twin sister and another older brother, neither of whom live in Aspen. His apparent suicide is the third one in Pitkin County in the past month.

On March 17, 18-year-old Stacia De Kraker, visiting Aspen from Aurora, died of an apparent self-inflicted gunshot wound at the Mountain House Lodge.

And on March 7, Jeff Walker, 55, took his life with a handgun outside Highland Bowl. His body was not found until March 20 and was recovered on March 21.

In its news release, the Aspen Police Department urged community members to call the Aspen Hope Center’s free, 24-hour help line at 970-925-5858 if they or loved ones are struggling.