November 30, 2022 – remembering back 11 years ago…

I feel like this all happened just the other day…but, it was 11 years ago. Escaping the details of every moment of those last few days of Morgan’s life is impossible. We were all so naive, we thought this nightmare would soon end. We were so very wrong, and it makes me sick to my stomach to remember how wrong we really were.

And yes, I still play the blame game, always wondering if I had just taken her away, would she still be alive today…it hurts every single time I think about it.


November 30, 2011

Morgan is alone tonight – her friend does not sleep over. Steve & I are there, but we are in our room on the other end of the house. Morgan’s phone is busy, just past midnight this morning she receives a text. Not the first time in her life, she is a twenty-year-old young woman, but this is out of character, considering the past few months.  At 2 seconds past 12:00 am, a person she does not know texts her, it turns out to be quite innocent.  Her friend Nathan, who is just back from Australia, does not have a phone yet, and had asked Morgan if he could give another friend her number until he gets his own phone, he said his friend might be texting, it was just that neither Nathan nor Morgan thought it would be at midnight!

Morgan calls him back and tries to put him in touch with Nathan, but gives up and goes back to sleep.  Another friend of Morgan’s texts at 12:14 AM, and teases her about not lending him her sweater earlier.  Morgan answers him and he keeps going on with his texting, but she stops conversing and goes back to sleep.  Unfortunately, the stalker must have been outside, and because it seemed he had seen her light on and he now wants her attention.  Morgan thinks this because there is very loud banging at random intervals.  Once it starts up, Morgan covers her head with a pillow, and hopes he stops.

The “suspect” Keenan did not check into work until 3:05 am, according to his work records, that we received AFTER Morgan’s murder, so he had plenty of time to harass Morgan.

We will find out the following year, at 12:25 AM suspicious status updates are happening on some of the suspect’s Facebook accounts.  Hannah Hurlocker (Brooke’s friend) happens to be staying with her, just up the street, and her wall updates with, “ugh I already called you and told you member?”  a minute later someone named Stephen says, “Oh yeah my bad sorry”  Hannah answers, “its osay”  Stephen expands on his answer “Oh yeah my bad sorry But u didn’t tell me what was going on u just asked me to Drop everything and come get you that’s it”  at 12:27 AM Hannah tells him, “enough said”

Was something being planned to harm Morgan on this night? 

Also at 12:27 Morgan’s phone rings, she answers and hangs up from under her pillow.  It was yet another friend “drunk dialing” her.  He will call to apologize later in the day.

Morgan gives up on sleep, and she gives up on her stalker outside, giving up for the night – she knows he won’t stop, so, in a very strange move for Morgan, she gathers up clothes and comes into our bathroom with her puppy to dress.  I hear her, and come in to see what is wrong.  Morgan can’t explain it, but feels like something is really wrong.  Her crazy stalker has been banging some wretched beat on her window and she is afraid he will be at it all night, so she slipped out of the room and came into our bathroom to change.  And now she wants to go to her friend’s grandmother’s house for the rest of the night.  She has had a standing invitation, and has only used it a few times, but Morgan knows she is home and her couch is not only warm and safe, but most importantly quiet.  A place to dream happy dreams.

For some reason I think she is making the right choice and I tell her I think it is a good idea.  I walk out onto the porch and watch her and her puppy drive off at 12:47 AM.  I wake up Steve and tell him what has happened – he wants to get up and make sure she makes it OK.  I tell him I have been watching cars in driveways for the last five minutes, and nothing has moved, and she promised to text me as soon as she is safely locked up in her friend’s grandmother’s house.

It’s 12:52 AM when I call dispatch.  I tell them what has happened.  She has done this a few times when the stalker is being extra persistent, so this might be a good night to nab him, but before I can explain all that, dispatch tells me the officers just left the neighborhood one hour before because they were investigating our next door neighbor Ken’s house, where a robbery occurred earlier in the evening, but they will come back.  Might not even be an hour.

You would think with a sheriff’s presence constantly coming and going from our house that nobody in the right mind would be breaking in to our neighbor’s house – but, I don’t think we have been dealing with people that are in their right mind.

The next morning Steve is watching the cameras and can see a deputy walk up to Morgan’s window, get down on his knees and inspect something on the ground.  He wonders what he found and wants me to make a note to ask Detective Glassmire next time I talk with him.  Steve also see’s him on the other side of the house and comments to me that he never even went in the backyard!

At 8:00 AM another of Morgan’s friends had a text message conversation with her about a Bluegrass festival, he can’t believe she won’t go to a performance with him and get tattoos, which he believes you have to have before you can express certain opinions.  It is all good natured, and fun loving.

Steve meets his crew in the driveway at 8:55 AM and lines out the day for them.  He invites them in the house for coffee, and tells them about the night before.  They are incensed, and just want to go take care of this.  Steve tells them that we heard from the detective that it will be over soon.  None too soon for our liking.

Morgan comes home at 10:07 AM and looks well rested. Steve leaves at 10:10 AM in his truck to run an errand. 10:27 AM her “drunk dial” friend from this morning texts to tell Morgan he is sorry.  Morgan does not answer him, and works on her room before we all leave to go to our doctor’s appointments this afternoon in Grand Junction.

There was a mini van that pulled up the driveway at 10:55 AM and a man came to the front door with a sheet of paper looking for someone in the neighborhood that I had never heard of before.  He seemed to expect that and left, not circling the neighborhood or asking anyone else, he just left…strange.

Right after he left, Morgan got a text she found uproariously funny.  She is getting very frustrated trying to get her point across to her long ago ex-boyfriend, that she does not want to date him again, she just wants to be friends.  She changed her Facebook profile as a joke to say she was in a relationship with a girlfriend of hers at school.  Her girlfriend had just been approached by an instructor who thought it was about time.  It was so funny to Morgan that she said she was going to leave it for a few more days before changing it back.

Steve loaded the truck with the dogs and our stuff, then at 12:19 PM we were on the road. Morgan was now in one of her all time favorite places, crashed out in the back seat of the truck, while on a road trip.  A short one, but a road trip all the same. Below you can see a Facebook post she responded to today.

As Morgan, Steve, and I are driving to Grand Junction for our annual doctor’s appointments, Morgan received a text from Lorraine at 1:48 PM wondering if she could babysit this afternoon.  Steve dropped Morgan and I off at our doctor’s office at 2:15 PM, and went on to his appointment.  Once we were in the waiting area, Morgan answered Lorraine, and said she was sorry, but she was in Grand Junction for the afternoon.

I sat talking with Morgan until 2:50 PM when I then went in for my appointment.  We were there for our annual check ups and since it was such a long drive (almost 2 hours) we always combined our appointments and drove together.  Morgan had been texting her friends, and when I came out after my appt. Morgan had already gone in to see the doctor, so I waited for her to come out.  I had talked to her doctor (who was also my doctor) about the stalking before she saw Morgan, and wanted to be sure she knew about what was going on.

Morgan came out just before 4:00 PM, and I asked about her appointment.  Morgan told me she had a conversation with her doctor about the stalking, and told her how she felt.  Her doctor had wondered if she felt like she needed sleep aids or anti-stress pills, because it sounded like a bad situation.  Morgan told me she had told her doctor that she would rather not take pills, and she was getting through it.

We both sat by the front door and waited for Steve to come back after his appointment.  Morgan texted her friend Calder, then at exactly 4:00 PM Nathan called Morgan, using Calder’s phone, with some news that upset Morgan.  Earlier that day a friend of Calder’s had met Keenan, and heard he was going to Grand Junction and wanted to go with him.  He had told her that he was going with his girlfriend Morgan, and she didn’t want anyone else to go along.  Morgan was visibly shaken, wondering if her stalker had followed us to Grand Junction. We all wondered what was going on, and I called Detective Glassmire to fill him in on this story.

Detective Glassmire wanted Calder’s friend’s number so he could check out the story.  Morgan set about trying to get the number.  Steve picked us up and had a few errands to run before we went to the mall.   Morgan was texting with friends and suddenly asked Steve if it would be OK if she had a knife to keep under her pillow – just in case.  Steve wondered if anything had happened, and we told him about the call from Nathan telling Morgan about Keenan having a girlfriend named Morgan.  Then Morgan heard that Morgan was his girlfriend for the last four years, only he was living with Brooke all summer, so this didn’t make sense, and many were insisting Keenan and Brooke were still together, even though they announced their breakup on Facebook in October. Something was not adding up, and Morgan did not like it at all.

At Steve’s first stop, Morgan and I waited in the truck, while Steve went inside.  As part of his purchases, he bought a folding knife and drew a happy face on the box, then handed it to Morgan when he came back to the truck.  I watched her open the box and smile.  She told her Daddy how he was the best, he told her to be careful with it, and we stopped to have dinner together. Here is a picture Morgan took tonight of the box the knife was in – this is the happy face Steve drew on the box…we found the box, with the knife still in it, in her bed the morning we found her body…she never had a chance to take it out of the box in time to protect herself…

At 5:01 PM Morgan texted Calder that Detective Glassmire wanted to talk with his friend, and could he get her the number.

Back at the house at 6:12 PM a car came up our street and turned into Elliott’s driveway.

After dinner we decided to skip the mall, and Christmas shopping, because everyone was so tired, so we headed home instead.

Morgan wrote an answer to her friend on Facebook, “I love life.”

I sent Detective Glassmire a text to tell him we have not gotten the phone number yet, but there is another person you can talk to that knows all of the parties involved.  He does not call.

We arrived home from Grand Junction at 7:49 PM, unloaded all of our stuff from the day, and at 8:06 PM Steve walks Morgan and Wylah out to the car, and they leave.  Morgan visits, texts, and calls her friends.

We did not know the following until a year later in 2012 – At  6:40 PM on Facebook, Hannah Hurlocker (Brooke’s friend who is staying at her house now) posts on her wall.  Brooke “I CAN”T STOP THINKING…I JUST CAN”T DO IT”

Then at 11:39 PM Brooke answers Hannah on Facebook – “me either girl”

What was going on? What were they planning to do that was upsetting?

And at 11:49 PM Nathan and Morgan drive up.  She has a beautiful new French manicure to show me.  Nathan walks around to her window and checks that side of the house, then grabs his backpack from inside the car and goes inside.  We had a large U shape couch in front of the TV.  Nathan was going to go to sleep on the couch in the office, but instead they watch a movie out on the couch.

The “suspects” hours on the 30th show he was free this evening to stalk…his job was less than a 5 minute drive from our house and he was not working this evening…many years later, he still tells people he was always working, and on camera when any incidents of stalking occurred…just one of his many, many lies. 

November 29, 2022 – Remembering back 11 years ago…

Every day, for the past week, the feeling of dread, escalating anxiety, and sadness have filled my heart. As the days drag on, towards the dreaded anniversary of Morgan’s murder, nothing has helped make those feelings ease up. I relive it every night, and this week it has been extremely hard to sleep at all.

So, I decided that writing about it has always helped in the past, now I will try again. 

We will all continue to fight for justice for Morgan!

November 29, 2011

First thing this morning, Morgan posted…

Morgan’s friend Nathan slept over last night, and Morgan slept out on the couch as well.  They watched movies till late into the night, it was a quiet night for us all.  In the morning Nathan and Steve left for work and Morgan got dressed to go to her ballet and dance classes, but then she was a little too squeamish and decided to go to her first class, to see how it went. She then came home after that, and skipped her second class.  She was thinking maybe a new flu was coming on, and she didn’t want to infect her friends.  She also wanted to be back on her feet for the weekend, as she would be taking care of young children for the returning military families, so I encouraged her to take it easy and rest, and she did.

Steve came by at 3:00 and was all caught up with his work.  He was ready to start the move of his shop and could not wait for the whole move of his shop and our house to be complete.  Of course we had not really started moving yet, so that sounded very optimistic.  He dropped Nate off in Carbondale and went to his old shop to pack his office.  Morgan went to Carbondale with Wylah and I waited at home for Detective Glassmire.  I thought it was just going to be another regular meeting, with nothing much to report, but I was in for a pleasant surprise.

At 3:51 pm I sent a text to Detective Glassmire, “Rob do you know about when you might be here?  Morgan is about 10 minutes from our house, and I just want to let her know to come home in time.  Thanks.”  He replied back, “I am in Carbondale now working on my laptop, I can get there anytime, let me know.”  He also told me he was just coming to check the cameras and Morgan didn’t need to be there and could just stay in Carbondale, so I relayed that message to her.

Detective Glassmire came over, I helped him get the ladder from the garage. He went out and checked his cameras and saw nothing.  I explained to him about the motion detectors that had been taken from their “perches” and moved to the ground and he shook his head.  I went on to tell him that Steve had been up really early researching the event, because it really bothered him, how it had been done with such apparent ease.

I told him how our motion equipment had been detecting something in the front corner of the house and Steve had come up with yet another plan to paint two detectors to match the surroundings and then placed them both aimed at the corner of the house.  Then he made sure that two of the video cameras were aimed right at them. He was certain he would catch something.  He wore clothes to bed that night, he was so sure.

I told Detective Glassmire that it wasn’t even fifteen minutes later that they were both on the ground, and nothing was caught on the cameras.  So, what was really bothering Steve, was that this morning, he saw a “Myth Busters Youtube,” that showed how easy it was to defeat a motion detector, and he later found out how a person, with a laser light, something he had seen off in the distance months ago, could mess with our video cameras very easily. Steve ended up leaving for work completely distraught, he had thought that the stalker was slowing down for winter, and it might well be that he had only figured out ways around all of the deterrents we had, and that was why we weren’t seeing anything anymore.  But, then I told him how Morgan was still getting startled awake at all hours.

I asked the detective if it was possible we were so over-vigilant that we had begun hearing things (I really wanted this to be true), or was the stalker right here more than ever?  I told him how we were coming to our wits end with all of this.  Detective Glassmire looked at me for a second, then bent down, picked up a dirt clod from the ground, and flung it at our house.  I flinched as it struck the house with a loud “BANG.”  He looked at me and said, “You are not crazy Toni, there is your stalker, he is still here.”

I agreed with the detective and told him that Steve does not know what to do.  Detective Glassmire told me that he thought if anything, he was going to escalate now.  That really scared me, and I asked what we should do?  He told me not to worry, but be careful.  He was going to pick up Keenan’s hours the following Tuesday, he thought that would be a big step, maybe even the final breakthrough for an arrest.

This was shocking to me. I had not expected to hear that.  A long time ago, we were told an arrest would come only after catching him at the house.  I asked him if he really thought that, and he said that he did.  He also said the formal interview with Morgan would help too, and that was scheduled for the following Tuesday.  It was exciting to think that all of a sudden it had come so far.  This morning Steve was thinking it was all a lost cause, and now it was on the verge of ending – in arrest.

We said our goodbyes around 5:00 pm.  Detective Glassmire put the ladder away and left.  I called Steve and had a quick talk with him about all of the positive developments and he was cheered up.  He left to come home, and just as I began to peel potatoes for dinner, there was a loud “BANG” again on the front of the house that was sharper and louder than Detective Glassmire’s dirt clod.  It was far more like a gunshot against the garage. I jumped and both dogs jumped up. I ran out front to see what it was.  The dogs were startled, as was I, but my first thought was a sonic boom (which I had never heard in Colorado before – only as a child in California), or maybe something large, like the ladder in the garage falling over and hitting something?

Only, like everything else there was nothing, by the time I got to the front of the house there was no car just driving out of the cul-de-sac, no people closing the front door behind them – nothing.  I just stood and watched the empty street, tree branches slowly waving in a light breeze and giving up their last leaves.  I opened the garage, and searched its corners – nothing was out of place.  It was so maddening!

I closed up and went back in the house.  Then, I texted Morgan when dinner would be ready and asked when could she be home.  She told me that Nate had just left for the bar and she was waiting for him, but thought it wouldn’t be more than fifteen minutes.

Steve drove up and I heard his truck,  he came in and we talked about my afternoon meeting with Detective Glassmire.  Steve was calmed so much by all the good news, and went to clean up before dinner.

Morgan came home, ate with us, and was very excited by everything the detective had told me.  She went to sleep around 10:00 pm.  I got in bed I saw flashlights in back of house.  Steve told me it was patrol officers looking for something. As I was falling asleep, I told Steve, they were increasing the patrols by the house too.  It was all such good news, and I was only too content to not argue with any of it.

Then on November 24, 2012 I wrote – And, as I look back, that night was so positive.  I really felt that they (the sheriffs) really, really wanted to catch this stalker, and protect Morgan – it just hadn’t happened yet.  I know it all went horribly wrong, but I am still not sure why.  Parts of the truth are still hidden in the shadows.  But, as Steve and I have found out, bit by bit this year, so much happened over the next few days that was stacked against Morgan, only there was also the component of so much that did not happen to help protect her.  For others we must change not just one, but both of those factors.


If you are like me, the closer it gets to the holidays, the harder it is to breathe. I try to ignore the pain in my heart, and the deep sadness as much as I can, but it still keeps coming back. The pain is very real, and time cannot take that pain away.

Every place I go, every young woman I see with a smile on their face, reminds me that Morgan is gone and can not share the upcoming holiday with us. There will always be that one empty chair at our table. 

On Thanksgiving, I will never again hear Morgan humming, while making her pumpkin gooey cake in the kitchen, or prepping her stuffed mushrooms. Never again, will I hear the keyboard playing music, along with her beautiful voice, as she sings and plays a song, while I cook for our guests.

I have so much to be grateful for, and I try to remember that every day, but at times like this it is so very hard. Sometimes, all it takes is a smell or a sound, or nothing at all, to reopen that wound, and crush me, right down to my soul.

With Thanksgiving arriving tomorrow, in order to survive the holidays, this is what I would like to share with all of you. 

Remember, there are NO rules when it comes to surviving grief. When missing a huge part of yourself, you need to do what feels right for you.

  • I have learned not to hide my feelings. I acknowledge my feelings, and let them happen. I no longer hide them from the the people around me. I know that I am not the same person I was before losing Morgan, and never will be again.
  • I always try to make the same foods Morgan loved over the holidays – somehow, I feel it still makes her happy.
  • Putting up the tree, seeing Morgan’s ornaments, like her fairies, her dragonflies, and all the ornaments she made as a child, makes me feel like she is still right here with us. Including Morgan, makes my heart feel less empty.
  • When possible, I try to go to at least one party…if I am too sad to go, I do not beat myself up, I just don’t go. Usually, once I go, it can be an uplifting experience. It’s just hard sometimes, because you never know what might trigger those emotional, negative feelings – just let your heart lead you, and not your mind. Grief is like living through an earthquake, you never know when those aftershocks will hit.
  • Changing things up has helped me in the past. Starting new traditions, going to new places, helping others going through similar feelings…this all has helped to lift my spirits.
  • Continuing the same holiday rituals we enjoyed with Morgan seems to induce calm, and it makes me feel a sense of order and control during this turbulent time. Feeling grateful. Remembering the beautiful light and love Morgan brought to all our lives makes me grateful to be her mother.
  • Love is the most important thing in this world and I am reminded of that every single day, because I was blessed to have Morgan in my life.