At a time when sheer frustration surrounded everything that was related to Morgan’s stalking, and death, I made a decision. As soon as my waves of shock had passed, it dawned on me that I needed to do something about this in Morgan’s name. I needed to tell Morgan’s story, with as many details as I could, so others could become aware of this multi-layered problem that was confronting Steve and I in trying to have her stalker still pursued, and her death investigated (because it never really was at all!). It also quickly evolved into raising awareness of stalking, not only here in Garfield County, Colorado, but all around the world.
In response to the story of Morgan’s Stalking so many other victims over the last year have asked for advice, or told me about their own story, and unfortunately the same things ring true – law enforcement in their city or county did not, and will not take the danger seriously, and the victims are left to fend for themselves, scared for their lives! This has to change. Stalking is wrought with dangers, and needs to be dealt with effectively and swiftly, because it so easily blows out of control, even escalating to murder.
I could not allow this to happen to another girl, another family, and I wondered, what are the right answers to this multi-pronged dilemma? Morgan had been stalked, and terrorized for four months, and then we found her dead in her bed, nothing about the crime scene looked normal, she looked like she had been posed, so many things were not right, but we were in shock, and were not asked any pertinent questions that we should have been asked in a murder investigation! And here was a felony stalking victim, our daughter, dead. And we had this horrible feeling that her death was being treated as if it had nothing to do with her stalking. We tried to ignore this feeling, because the situation we had ended up in had us questioning everything.
A year and a half later it is far more apparent that Morgan’s sudden death, under suspicious circumstances, had been treated as if it had no relation to her stalking at all. Does this make any sense at all? The morning they took Morgan’s body away and informed us there would be an autopsy, we were told it was because she died under “suspicious circumstances, and they were treating everything as if it were a crime scene”, and I believed them at that time, I trusted them. But as the smoke still cleared I can see that was really not the case at all.
In the weeks that passed after her death we waited for the pathologist’s examination report and nothing was investigated except to look at pictures on her phone, read her texts, and read what she was writing on her computer. They were investigating Morgan – not how she died. Then the pathologist classified Morgan’s manner of death as natural causes, and the “brakes” were hit even harder. For the next eight months that passed the Sheriff’s department had no reason to investigate natural causes, and as for her stalking case it seemed as if they did not need to do any more investigating, with no stalking victim left alive, there was no more stalking, leads dry up quickly and all too soon there was nothing to investigate – right?
Nothing “felt right” about Morgan’s death, and we had questions for many of reasons, apart from one of the main reasons – he wrote that her “natural death” was caused by a disease she never had, we also felt a strong need to know exactly what killed her, if this truly was a natural death, and if it could affect someone else in the family, young or old. When Morgan’s long time Doctor at UCLA, a person we have great respect for, shocked us with her opinion that nothing was wrong with Morgan that would cause her sudden death, and then declare this was a homicide! We were floored.
We naturally began to research this very seriously, and it was not long before we were told by a highly respected Forensic Pathologist that the level of one drug in her blood was not “insignificant” as the pathologist was claiming, but it was the cause of Morgan’s death. And she did not even take this drug!
I kept asking more questions of more experts because the finding of Morgan’s death as natural was not only wrong there was absolutely no investigation going on except our own. Which was raising questions for which there were no answers, and the pathologist did not like me questioning him, his findings, or asking him to talk to some of the experts that were assisting us, doctor to doctor, about his findings. He then threatened me (I am a victim of the felony stalking as well as Morgan, so he was threatening a victim at the time) that he might have to take another look at her manner of death, as the blood levels were quite high, and the only reason he did not call it an accidental overdose, or suicide was that there were absolutely no pills or pill fragments in her stomach.
This concerned me deeply, except I was being told by others that I should not be worried, because there were no grounds that the pathologist could find for suicide, and he really should have put down “Undetermined” or “Homicide” and an investigation should have been opened.
An investigation – really? Like law enforcement actually reviewing our camera footage the night of the murder, they took it, and booked it into evidence, but it was not reviewed – I guarantee you that, because later when we reviewed it we saw images from those cameras that same night. Or like an investigation that takes evidence from the crime scene, like sheets, and pillows, and tests the substance found on her chest, and writes up a report. And when told about items missing from her room the information becomes a report? No, that never happened either. I began to tell our felony stalking detective about the missing items within a few days of the crime, after the crime scene tape came off her bedroom door, and we were allowed back into her room – but no report was made.
Then seven months after her death, the pathologist had her gastric fluid tested without telling us. The pathologist knew if anymore tests were to be run the other doctors assisting us would like to weigh in on what kind of tests could be added. But this request was ignored, which is a problem because there were not a lot of samples left to test, and this particular test exhausted what was left. To use up those samples without allowing other doctors to request certain tests to be done at the same time was not only wrong, but egregious.
Those test results, of which the pathologist based his claim of suicide, instead actually proves that she could not have committed suicide – that piece of knowledge that I now have can never change. Not one soul in Garfield County government cared that the pathologist had threatened me – I know because of all the certified, return receipt letters that Steve, and I wrote to them that were not only ignored, they were never answered.
So what does a family in this situation do? It looks, and feels to me like one of those stories about the “big blue wall”, right here in Garfield County. Their approach to the problem is obviously to not answer us or do anything, in the hope that we just go away, and drop it. Would you? Honestly if this were your daughter would you just drop it and go away? Emotionally it would probably be much easier. What about the stalker/murderer? Do you think he will just stop, and never do it again, and never hurt another girl? He terrorized Morgan emotionally and psychologically for four months. There have also been many revelations of similar instances going back many years. So I don’t believe he will stop – they very rarely do, and I for one, in my heart, could never live with just walking away and not pursuing this. It hurts, it makes me sick to my stomach at times, it makes Steve, and I both want to scream sometimes, but thanks to the huge support group we have we continue to pull each other up, and continue on with this quest.
My hope is that people all around the world listen, and believe other stalking victims, they need to be heard, and desperately want to be taken seriously. If more people understand, and decide to take a stance to help as much as they can, we will be on the way to having fewer victims in the future. When I hear about so many similar crimes being committed I can’t help but think that maybe there are not so many criminals, I think just one can do so very many crimes, if they are never caught, or never prosecuted. So please, individually and collectively, let’s get even just one criminal off the street, and see how many lives can be spared in doing just that one act.