Missing Morgan every single day…

Today, I just came across a wallet that Morgan made out of scraps of “things.” It was always so much fun to see all the different things she would create and share with me. When I touch the things she used to touch, I feel so close to her, and yet so far. It is a feeling that is too hard to express.

Every moment of every day, I miss her. I miss her eyes, her smile, her soft voice, her loving and caring ways. My heart still hurts after all these years, because I miss her so very much. Every morning when I wake up, I just miss her all over again…it never ends.

Does it seem fair that our beautiful life was destroyed by a selfish and obsessed stalker? No.

Does it seem fair that a beautiful, young 20-year-old life was taken? No.

Does it seems fair that all the co-victims, people who loved Morgan, can never find peace? No.

Life is not fair, and I can never bring Morgan back, but I can make sure she is always remembered. I can make sure that other lives are spared, as long as I continue to raise awareness, warn others about the real threat of stalkers, and continue to fight for justice.

When Morgan died, my life changed forever. I am not the person I used to be. Someone once said, “Grief never ends…but it changes. It’s a passage, not a place to stay. Grief is not a sign of weakness, nor a lack of faith…it is the price of love.”

 

December 2, 2011 Morgan was been taken from our world

11 years ago today was the most horrific day of our lives. It changed our lives forever, and our family will never be the same again. Every day, I wish it had been me, and not her. I would trade my life in a heartbeat for hers, but I was not given the chance.

Many people in power would like us to go away. They would like us to forget what happened, and just go along with their false narrative. But, here’s the thing…the facts and the evidence show the truth about what really happened to Morgan. She died at the hands of another.

So, no matter what lies others would like us to believe, in order to make their lives easier, the truth never changes, and justice still needs to be served for Morgan!

December 2, 2011 was the beginning of our fight for justice, and we will NEVER give up!

December 2, 2011

Our neighbor Mark pulled into his driveway next door, a few minutes after midnight. He looks at our house, and sees Morgan’s lights are off. One of my nieces can’t sleep without the TV on. For others they may need a bedside light, or even just the soft glow of a nightlight, but Morgan liked no lights on at all, so what Mark saw was the norm.

Another sheriff deputies’ patrol of the neighborhood happened at 1:21 AM. This was the drive right through patrol, it took 35 seconds to loop the end of the street, and drive back by – no stopping, no shining their spot light. The second patrol of the early morning came by at 2:44 am. This time there was a complete stop between our house and our next door neighbor Rhonda’s,  a searchlight flooding our roof, this patrol took closer to one minute to make the loop, and do a visual of the roof.

Why did they know to check the roof with their light? We never knew about the roof until months after Morgan’s death. Our roof was how the stalker was able to hide.

For almost exactly an hour, it all looked quiet, then the motion detector light on the corner of the garage goes on. For the one and only time, during the lifetime of the video surveillance of our house, a young deer, a fawn walks, and then trots by Morgan’s window.

Our neighbor Mark came out to warm up his car just before 4:30 AM, and he notices something, Morgan’s bathroom light is on. This was out of character, Morgan was not an early riser. Mark drives off at 4:36 AM.

Steve remembers getting out of bed after 5:30 AM. He has been awake for a while and decides to make it official. He makes coffee and sits at the kitchen table reading over some floor plans. His current project is at the state where no mistakes comes with an explanation mark, and he reviews the details. I lie awake before 6:00 AM, but the smell of Steve’s coffee is too much, I get up, pull on a fuzzy, warm robe and join him in the kitchen for just a second, I then had a thought pass through my mind, why hasn’t Morgan woken me up yet to take out her puppy to go potty?

Across the valley, Scott, a very good family friend woke up much earlier than usual. He looked outside, and found something extra special in this mornings sunrise. So, he grabbed a camera that was on the table behind him, and went outside to capture it. He presented us with the photo of the sunrise coming up from Aspen, as it came up over the mountains, clearly showing here comes the snow – months later, safely mounted in a very special frame that he made, he gave it to us – it was the sunrise on the morning that we found Morgan’s body. The fresh snow we were all waiting on came one day too late for us…no prints in the snow last night, because it hadn’t snowed at all.

Steve is engrossed in his plans, and as Morgan has not called me yet to take her puppy Wylah out, I just decide to go and take her out. When I enter Morgan’s room, I notice her bathroom light is on, and the puppy and cat are both sitting next to each other in the bathroom looking bewildered, a something is not right sensation comes over me. Up until this time, they never went by each other, Morgan’s cat Mogwai wanted nothing to do with the puppy. I notice Wylah has had an accident on the floor. Morgan looks like she is sleeping and doesn’t wake up when I call for her puppy to come to me. I take her puppy out to the backyard, as I had every single morning since Morgan was shocked into retreat by her stalker, after he showed up in our yard only 10 feet from Morgan. I thought of how fearful she felt that morning, as I scanned the yard for anything that looked out of place, while Wylah did her morning potty thing out in the back yard. So many times I had wanted him (the stalker) to be here, I wanted him to challenge me, and I wanted to take him down.

Wylah seemed apprehensive this morning, and took extra time to find the perfect spot to complete her business, and then she was quick to get back inside. She would usually sleep after she went potty until Morgan woke up, and now I brought her back to Morgan’s room. Wylah hopped on her Morgan’s bed, and looked at me. The oddness was growing, Morgan would have thanked me for taking her out, but she had not. And now I was expecting to hear words from our daughter before I went to join Steve for some coffee and some breakfast. There were no words. 

So, I asked her, “Aren’t you going to say thanks for cleaning Wylah’s accident, and taking her out Morgan?”

There was still no response. I looked again and it was all very odd. Morgan was over here, when she always slept over there. Her position didn’t even look right, The blankets, her nightstand, the floor, as it all began to grasp me, but I shook it off. Touching her on the shoulder she felt warm, even though her shoulder had not been covered up. Morgan was usually a ‘burrow under the covers’ sleeper, and there was not a hint of burrow here. I shook her shoulder gently, so as not to startle her, and said her name.

Again, she made no noise, and right then I needed Steve! Like those times when Daddy makes the crying stop, right now Daddy was going to wake her up – he had to.

I left her bedroom door open and quickly went toward the kitchen, and yelled for Steve. He sensed it immediately, and was up and rushing quickly towards me, as I turned the corner.

“Something’s wrong, Morgan won’t wake up. I told him, and he did not accompany me back to the room, he ran past me and was kneeling on her bed at her side by the time I got there. He was shaking, then shaking more. Then his words were “Oh, no, Oh, no, in a tone of disbelief.

“Call 911, NOW!” – those are words I will never forget. I was frozen in place and had not moved when Steve rolled Morgan onto her back, and her eyes, oh, her beautiful eyes, Morgan’s soft pools of blue that held such happiness, and wonder for twenty years seemed to be grotesquely stretched in irregular shapes up her face, and turned to a shiny dark black. As if she had just become possessed – they were wide open, and a bolt of goodness was needed to be shot into her to return Morgan to Morgan.

Steve had started CPR and was counting out loud, he repeated the NOW of my instructions. The room could have spun, but seemed to be only starting to spin and then stopping. I was across the hall in my office dialing the numbers, and I could hear Steve’s counting, over and over again. Then I heard him scream, “Morgan take my breath, breathe!”

I was connected to 911 emergency, but the nature of my emergency was unimaginable to try to explain. We needed help, fast… they were coming. I told Steve they were on the way, but he could not hear me. He was screaming for Morgan. I could hear his words, but I would not let myself understand his words.

The 911 operator told me that we needed to get her onto something firm, the floor, so I ran back into Morgan’s room and helped Steve move her. I saw my daughter’s face and in a quick flash it looked blue, I could not bear to look at her eyes, so I looked down to the floor at her feet, and grasped her ankles to feel her warmth. In that very moment I had a “flash,” or what you might call a “download” of information…I knew Morgan was no longer in her body, I felt her whispering to me that she was safe now, no one could her anymore, and she was still on her journey. A huge blast of warmth hit my spine, like when she used to put her hand on my back when I was upset. I truly believe Morgan was trying to get me through this horrific moment. 

Steve continued CPR – he wanted to help her breathe, and I heard him say “oh, no” again. I looked at him and he looked back at me, he wanted to say something, I don’t think he knew the I already knew she was dead. Instead he shook his head and told me to move my car, to get it out of the driveway, so the ambulance could pull right up to the door.

It was dead quiet as I ran outside, but then it was like I was in a trance…I guess once I got outside, my brain couldn’t comprehend what was happening. It went into protect mode, like this was only a dream. I walked to the car, unlocked it and looked inside to see if I needed to remove any of Morgan’s ballet shoes, so the cold wouldn’t damage them. It makes no sense now, but I think my mind just wanted me to do all the normal things I would usually do, so this could go back to being a ‘normal’ morning, and nothing was wrong. I so desperately wanted to believe this wasn’t really happening.

I walked back into the house and Steve yelled, “Are they here yet?” All of a sudden, I snapped out of my trance, and ran back outside, realizing that I did not move the car! There was no one on the street, I raced back down the driveway and jumped into the car, that was in front of the garage, and backed it out into the street. As I ran back towards the front door, I saw them – men searching, waving flashlights, dressed in thick overalls, and carrying all kinds of devices, they were at the wrong house, down the street. I ran back out into the street, my arms were crossing over my head, as I waved and yelled for them to all come in this direction.

The recognition and movement was instant, it seemed like a small army coming from every direction, descending on our front door. “She’s in here”, I kept repeating and they did not pause to acknowledge, they just rushed by me. They already knew what to do, and were in her room in an instant. Steve was leaving Morgan’s room as I came in, and Wylah sat on her bed, never making a sound, just staring quietly as the men rushed into Morgan’s room.

Steve and I hung onto each other in the foyer, as we backed toward my office door. I wanted a do over, I wanted to hit a reset button. I said to myself, “This is all a bad dream, I will wake up any time now and this won’t be happening.” This was not supposed to be how it ended, not by a long-shot  I can’t remember if I said it out loud or only thought it. I wanted a do-over so I could take Morgan far, far away from all this horrible situation. I could see the EMT’s hooking up their machine to “zap” her heart…nothing happened, they tried everything, but to no avail. Morgan was already dead. I saw them lower their heads. They looked so defeated, so sad.

The first responders are now asking about Carbon Monoxide. It was so cruel to flash on memories of the Carbon Monoxide exposure Morgan suffered through years ago, how much it had hobbled her, and how she fought through it, and had completely recovered. I thought, “Could she have died from Carbon Monoxide?” We had a detector, just outside of her room, just above the countertop in the laundry room, so Steve went to check the readings. It had pegged a super high reading during the night, but the alarm never went off. We had no idea how that could have happened until sometime later, when Steve did the research into it, and found that these monitors will register a super high reading if exposed to certain gasses, like Chloroform.

Morgan lay lifeless on her bedroom floor now, the thoughts of how and why would come later, only that she was no longer with us was what mattered to us. A short while ago, without a word between us, Steve and I had come to realize that our baby girl was no longer with us. We didn’t want to believe it. The responders brought new hope with their urgency, but they were now slowing to the reality that there was nothing they could do, whispering to each other in very hushed tones. Bringing all of their devices back out to their trucks.

We were both in shock – we didn’t know what to do – Steve started making calls, just the ones he had to tell straight away (how do you tell her brother and sister, who loved her more than anything, that she was dead?), then he went to the living room and sat on the couch just staring at the wall. The rest could wait until later. I would make some calls myself, but it would not be until much later – I wanted to be alone with my thoughts for awhile.

Mothers have connections with their children, and share bonds not easily understood. Mothers were not meant to say goodbye like this to their children. Yet, I stood in the entry of our house and I stared into her room at what was only her body now. I knew that Morgan was gone, and as strange as it sounds, that in itself was a comfort to me, no one could hurt her. Later I would wonder what she had really been through and how much she had been made to suffer. I knew that for today, it would be a matter of making the magnitude of this singular event have the meaning it deserved. At this time I trusted those moving about and carrying out their tasks. Later on I came to realize that it wasn’t to be trusted. We were asked to leave our house as they had crime scene tape up and had declared this a crime scene.

Chatter about the death of Morgan Ingram was the morning news, and I am sure that those involved wanted to be sure nobody was talking about them, and interestingly enough, they had already started floating lies about that night. The facts and truth would come over the course of time, following the realization, and deduction of many, many experts.

Law enforcement, who were involved in her death scene assured us that there was no sign of forced entry (as many of you now know from other cases in the news, this does not mean an intruder was not in the house), no sign of a struggle (much later we were able to see signs of a struggle and wounds on her body, in pictures that had been kept from us), no sign of suicide, no sign of sexual assault (they never even tested for this)…and we believed them. They never took fingerprints, they didn’t collect any evidence, only items that belonged to Morgan. They said we now had to wait for the autopsy – when that was completed and the forensic pathologist could find nothing wrong with her that would cause her death, he said we had to wait for the toxicology results. They came back about 4 weeks later with no sign of alcohol, no sign of any illegal drugs and her manner of death was now called “natural.”  We asked how could that be?  Morgan was a healthy 20-year-old.

Whatever Steve and I thought at that moment on that morning, it was all about to change. In the most irrevocable and illuminating way. . .

On December 13, 2012 – We moved from that house within a month, we were in shock, the both of us not properly processing what had, and what was happening. Before we moved, every single day I would look at the front door and think Morgan would be walking through at any moment greeting our dog Tessi with, “Well, hello beautiful.” It was all too much to endure.

Over the next nine months, what was declared a mystery that day, would only become more mysterious:

  • We would discovered all of her jewelry of value was missing – gone.
  • We would discover the PJ’s she was wearing when Steve said good night to her were also missing – gone.
  • We would discover her panic button had been torn from its secure mounting spot on her nightstand, and was hidden in the corner of her room on the floor, under some clothes.
  • We would discover she died not from natural causes, with an insignificant amount of amitriptyline, as the forensic pathologist Dr. Kurtzman had told us, but from a massive dose of amitriptyline. An amount that she could not have possibly ingested herself, because a person her size would have died from only one tenth that amount, and then the levels would have stopped at that point, before the levels in her blood had reached anywhere remotely close to the amount that was in her bloodstream. So, what does that mean? That means it was most likely injected into her bloodstream – years later, in the photos we received, you can see a fresh injection mark inside her arm with what looks like teeth marks around it. The skin around the spot glowed under the UV light the sheriffs took, indicating bodily fluids, like possibly saliva. And guess what, the murder weapon, a needle was never found in her room.
  • 9 months later we would discover that there were other drugs not shown on the first tox screen, in her stomach, but not in her bloodstream, 5 in total.  The amitriptyline on the first tox was a lethal concentration – the rest were not in amounts that would have been lethal, but every one of them were listed on the lab’s Sexual Assault Panel.  So, at the time of Morgan’s murder she had an active felony stalking case being investigated by the Garfield County sheriffs, and the only things found in her body were all date rape drugs found on the Sexual Assault panel at the lab…and yet we were being told she wasn’t a homicide!
  • We would discover she had wounds consistent with defensive wounds on her body, and the coroner and pathologist would refuse to release the photographs for study by others.
  • We would discover that many, many aspects of her room were consistent with a struggle having taken place.
  • We would discover the hour that she most likely died, and why that was so important for an investigation. We would discover that her stalker told everyone he was at work when she was killed, but he had not checked into work until 2:00 am and Morgan had died before that. Remember, he job was only a 5 minute drive from our house. 
  • We would discover that the container needed to hold the date rape cocktail she had been given has never been recovered, in her room, or elsewhere.
  • We would discover her body was dressed in a different set of clothing, not what she wore home that night, and not the PJ’s she wore when she went to sleep.
  • We would discover her driver’s license was missing out of her wallet (this is sometimes a trophy that stalkers/murderers take), and her teller card had been taken out of her wallet, and was lying on the floor next to where we had put her body, while Steve had continued to do CPR.
  • We would discover that a journal of hers was missing from her room, gone.  And it was not the journal listed in evidence.
  • We would discover her upper chest was covered in a fine spray of bodily fluids, consistent with Morgan attempting to spit or sneeze out a date rape cocktail she had been forced to ingest, or the remnants of a sexual assault, as these “spots” showed up under the UV light and were bodily fluids .
  • We discovered Morgan had a red spot on her right temple (consistent with a thumb restraining her head while a hand was over her mouth), and something red (blood?), as was on her swollen lip.
  • We would discover her body had been moved postmortem and this had been a “staged crime scene.” We would discover nails on her right hand had be torn at an angle and abrasions were on that same hand…the pathologist did not take any samples for DNA under her nails, stating that no one told him to.
  • We would discover the knife Morgan asked her dad to buy for her protection the night before, was lying in her bed right next to her body, in the original box it had been purchased in.
  • We would discover that even though they said her death was a “mystery” that a majority of stalking victims in these circumstances would be raped, and when she was found her pants were unzipped & unbuttoned, but there was no rape kit administered at her autopsy. The only way to know if she had been raped, as a part of her ordeal, is forever lost because of this utter incompetence.
  • We would discover that the steel gutter directly over her window was torn into two pieces, consistent with her stalker lying on the roof and leaning over an extended period of time (her stalking lasted 4 months), to see inside her room through her upper window, and it would never be officially photographed or otherwise examined forensically.
  • We would discover that the observant neighbor, who reported her light being off and on at strange times, indicating suspicious behavior, was never interviewed as a part of the investigation.
  • We discovered no potential evidence from the death scene, save the clothes she was wearing, were ever collected. The detective said they would retain them in evidence, and then 10 months later they were destroyed.
  • And then we learned from a long time local investigator that years earlier, the pathologist that did Morgan’s autopsy had once examined a body pulled from the Roaring Fork River and declared the person died from an accidental drowning…later on the body was exhumed and a bullet was documented to have been lodged in the skull – how could he have missed that?

Morgan’s stalking ended with her death. The interviews and collection of evidence planned for her that very next week were cancelled in view of her death. The detective said, “No Morgan, no stalker to prosecute.”

The most important part of a mysterious unnatural death is the investigation that follows. The dignity and honor of the deceased rest with how thorough and complete that investigation into the death is.  Morgan deserves for her death to have an investigation, and it most certainly did not, as the blog shall shift from the stalker to the investigation of her death, and the answer of just who or how many were in her room that night. Because it is obvious that Morgan alone could not possibly have done what is documented to have happened on the 123rd day – the last day of her stalking. Please pray for justice for Morgan. Thank you.

#JusticeForMorgan!

Remembering Morgan’s Last 24 Hours of Life

December 1, 2011

Just after midnight, the motion light on the corner of the garage (by Morgan’s windows) is almost constantly on.  Once it is triggered it stays on for one minute, and then goes off unless it is triggered again.  Heat and motion, in combination, are the triggers.  It is re-triggered every minute, and blinking off for just an instant.  Steve thinks it is malfunctioning at first when he watches the replay of the morning.  Except, at 12:47 AM a deputy in his truck is patrolling, not our neighborhood, not even really our house, but specifically Morgan’s side of the house. He drives up the street and stops right between our house and our next door neighbor Rhonda’s house.  There, he uses a searchlight to comb the side yard, right outside Morgan’s window.

The truck drives on and a minute later returns from the end of the street toward Brooke Harris’ father and Brooke’s mother’s houses, and returns to our house, then stops again. The searchlight is on again, and it is quite clearly not aimed at the house or the ground as usual, but it is aimed higher, at the roof – why?  Steve assumes that the light has about a 20’ spread after it covers the distance from the deputie’s truck to the house and the lower edge of the light is just hitting the wood trim above Morgan’s window.  From that point to the roof is about 4’ and as the roof climbs from the edge Steve assumes that the center of the light is trained about two feet above the roof.  It does not travel up or down from this elevation, but goes from side to side.  It is immediately obvious to Steve that whoever is aiming that light is looking for something on the roof, and once he points out what he is observing to me I am certain he is correct.  We roll back days on the cameras watching for anything like this and find nothing similar.  What is going on this particular night that we are not privy to?

The neighborhood is quiet until 1:41 AM when another sheriff’s truck follows almost the same pattern with one big difference, there is no searchlight turned on this time.  Once the truck passes our driveway on the way out of our street it speeds up.

At 2:31 AM it is almost the exact pattern of the deputy at 12:47 AM right down to the searchlight.  On replay of the tapes starting with the first deputy, and continuing until a while after this patrol, the motion light on the corner of the garage, which was being triggered constantly had now remained off.

Mark, also our next door neighbor came home at 4:21 AM, he was keeping a close eye on our house whenever he left or came home, and we were very thankful for that.  Our transformer had gone out one night in the middle of all this and was quite a cause for concern.  Mark stopped as he saw something going on, just to make sure all was well – friends looking out for other friends is quite priceless at times like this.  

Morning was lighting up, as another neighbor left at 7:12 AM, and a small flow of neighborhood cars came and went, sunlight took away the last traces of darkness.  Morgan sent a text to Calder at 8:11 AM wondering if he was in school yet.  She ran out to the car in her big fluffy pink robe to grab her ballet things from the back seat and brought them in for a load of wash I was starting.

Morgan and Nathan left at 8:56 AM, and she made a deposit at the bank in Carbondale for Steve at 9:08 AM.  She texted her friend with an excuse that she would not be at ballet, as she sat in line at the bank.  I sent a text to her to let her know that I was able to speak with the mother of a witness the detective wanted to talk to – Morgan sends me a text back, “You rock!”  She then goes to her dad’s shop to help pack up his office.

Steve was beginning to pack everything for the move, and Morgan somehow thought it was her fault, and insisted on helping him.  I told her she could not think like that, and he would have lots of help packing up, but she was after all a “Leo,” and very stubborn.  And it meant a lot to her to help Steve get the move under way.  She had walked out that morning looking like she was ready for a job in the coal mines. but then had a great time talking with her brother at the shop, she had not seen him in a few weeks.

Nathan was there to help and was catching up with his friends on Morgan’s phone at the same time.  It’s hard to believe we used to turn the big dial with our fingers on phones that were screwed to the wall growing up, but I had given up long ago trying to explain what that was like to Morgan and her friends.

At 10:36 AM I sent Detective Glassmire a text explaining that, “Calder told Morgan in the morning that he is not comfortable giving her Gracie’s number until he speaks with Gracie tomorrow.”  I made a few calls to find Gracie myself, after all Carbondale is not that big, and for some reason Detective Glassmire also jumped right into this issue of Keenan and a mystery girlfriend named Morgan.

By noon I had a call back from Gracie’s mom and told Morgan.  She was headed home for lunch with Nathan and Steve and seemed very happy to be able to send a text to her friend Calder that problem was solved and he shouldn’t worry about it another second.  They were all home at 12:18 PM and Morgan made lunch for us all.

When Steve and Nathan go back to the shop after lunch, Morgan went to take a shower.  She has invitations for the afternoon, but instead she has decided to help a friend find a job.  If he does not find job he will have to go back to Denver, and Morgan knows that will be bad for him.  He has worked hard to get where he is right now, and slipping back into old surroundings could create a great pressure on him to not maintain what he has accomplished.

She gets out of the shower and goes to her room.  She has the music playing, while she puts on make-up, does her hair, and dresses at her leisure.  I take a break from work and go into her room to chat while she is getting ready.  We talk about the Etsy dragonfly ID tag she found online, and wants to purchase for Wylah – I told her I could just order it for her when I sit back down to work at my computer.  Morgan said she didn’t have enough money yet, and would have to wait until after her babysitting job over the weekend.  I asked her how much it was, and told her I would just order it, and she could pay me back.  It was really nice to see her so bubbly, and actually putting on make-up and curling her hair, which she normally only did if she was going out somewhere special.  At 1:41 pm she walks out to the car with a freshly laundered shirt for her friend’s job interviews and hangs it up in the back of the car.  She goes and picks him up.  He is worried about his interviews, and Morgan calls him to encourage him at all their stops, while she waits in the car.  I wouldn’t go so far as to say she walked him in, but it was really important to her that he had a job or a really good prospect all lined up today.

After Morgan’s murder in 2012 we found out that on Facebook, at 12:20 am on 12.1, early this morning, Hannah Hurlocker (Brooke Harris’ friend) updated her wall, “sowyy it sucks.” Then 37 minutes later she adds, “guess ima go then night”  Her friend ? Likes this. At 1:04 am still confused by the urgency of the requests to drop everything and come get her Stephen Campbell says ”Well u seemed pissed when we talked Wats up??”

Brooke is not happy he has not figured this out yet, and at 3:43 pm today she posts to Stephen Campbell, “why would you ask her that on facebook? On her wall, on a post that had nothing to do with that at all? You know how to get a hold of her.”  It remains questionable what was really happening until certain parties involved are asked to give their input, then it is very upsetting, and obvious to me.

I had an arrangement with Morgan that she would be home by 4:00 pm or call me within two hours after she left, so I could run some errands with her.  Nothing super important, but it always seems like if I don’t get through my list for the day I end up wishing the next day that I had, and since we were sharing a car we had to coordinate.

At 4:00 pm I still had not heard from Morgan, but I had just gone out to the garage to organize, and drag out empty bins for the move.  By 4:30 pm, it has been almost three hours and Morgan is a 1/2 hour late contacting me.  I text her to call me, she is still calling her friend regularly, probably still giving encouragement with each new interview.

Our neighborhood Lhasa’s are getting their evening walk up the street toward Brooke’s house at 4:29:30 pm, and they look very happy.  By 4:48 pm I am getting anxious, in reality she is still helping her friend find the all important job, but I do not know this, only that she is not contacting me back, at least to tell me all is well.  I am worried and upset – I keep remembering that the detective said he thought the stalking was going to escalate.  I am nervous, especially with all of the new unknowns that have been thrust into her stalking this week.  Detective Glassmire told me two days ago that he thinks her stalking is going to escalate, there will be increased patrols, searching in new places.  And we didn’t even know about the very disturbing chatter going on on Facebook at that time.

Morgan gets a text from Nathan from Steve’s phone, “Hey it’s Nathan. Just leaving Aspen just so ya know. I’m gonna get dropped off in c’dale.”  She does not answer, and her friend Calder tries three times to contact her before 6:00 pm.  Also, without an answer.

Steve is home and tells me we should go get something for dinner – I am incredulous for an instant, then I calm down – he feels like Mexican food, and a little grocery shopping after for some of Morgan’s favorites, like pomegranates.  During Morgan’s mystery sickness, which turned out to be chronic carbon monoxide poisoning, Steve had this mental list of all the foods that would cheer her up.   And it would always work.  He thought she was looking just a little too tired and run down right now, and he wanted to get some of her favorites.  I went with him to the grocery store after dinner for that reason only.  Before we leave for dinner, and the grocery store, I lock the dogs up, which I normally do not do, but Morgan’s puppy Wylah had just chewed up a stuffed animal, and I had to clean up all the stuffing that she dispensed throughout the house – that was a BIG mistake to make, locking the dogs up in the laundry room, but I just wasn’t thinking clearly. Anyone could have come into our house and hidden out, unbeknownst to us.

On the way to the restaurant Steve texted Morgan, “Hi Morgan we are going out to dinner in Carbondale are you interested in joking us?” He really meant, joining, but you know these “smart” phones.  Just as I was telling him that he knew that Morgan had not answered me for hours, and I was really getting worried, his phone did that incoming text sound.  He glanced at the screen, smiled, and then handed it to me.  I said, “oh sure she answers you,” and I didn’t know if I should feel relieved or frustrated.  His message from Morgan was, “Gah! I’m sorry. My phone’s little button got switched so my ringer was off. I’m just hanging out with Danny, but I’ll see you guys after?”

Just like that it was no big deal.  Steve wondered if we could just have a nice dinner now, and I told him sure.  Morgan started answering her other friends that she was just hanging out right now.  Steve told her, “Ok we will text you when we get home and then meet you there.” And she answered him, “K.”  I was officially relieved.  We talked about our move and of all the other things going on in the world  Steve wanted to set up Christmas in the new place, so it would be there as we moved in, he thought it would be different, a little extra bit of happy in the midst of carrying, and unloading, and stressing and straining.  I told him I would think about it.

After dinner we shopped for a few things at the grocery store, and went home.  Rhonda, our next door neighbor, had just driven up, before Steve and I did.  We unloaded, and were deciding which room to pack first.  Morgan was still with her friend, watching a movie.

7:32:17 PM Morgan’s friend Nicole sent Morgan an important text – “Lady! We need to talk about breckenridge and get it all figured out!”  They were leaving before noon tomorrow to babysit for the returning military and allowing them to have a retreat with their spouses.  There is a group of children that loved Morgan, and two-year-olds were asking for her by name.  She either does not see this text or decides to wait to answer Nicole, because it is not immediate.

A person who will remain secret for some time, arrives home.  Morgan asks if she could spend the night at their house.  This person thinks for a moment about inviting Morgan, but then decides that day has been too tough, she has a headache and decides to have her sleep over some other night.  I have spoken with this person after Morgan’s murder, and she has felt horribly guilty about that one decision to send Morgan home for the night, thinking she sent her to her ultimate death.  No matter how much I try to convince her this is not true, I have not yet succeeded.  Morgan was scared to go home alone – yes, we were there in the house, but sleeping on the very other end of our big house…Morgan had been either having a friend sleep over at our house or she would sleep over a friends house for the past 2 weeks – that is how frightened she was.  I believe her intuition was screaming at her not to sleep at home, but Morgan was always concerned with others feelings, she said it was fine and she left.

I suddenly realize that I was supposed to text Morgan when we were headed home and I had completely forgotten.  I sent her a text at 7:57 pm that we are done shopping and heading home.  I go into her room and turn on her bedroom light and let Wylah into her room, she jumps on the bed and lies down, and it’s exactly 8:09 pm.

Right after I turn Morgan’s bedroom light off there is a bang on her window.  Reviewing cameras later we can see the big motion lights goes on at the same time.  Nothing obvious is seen on video, but then whatever whacked the glass, and set off the motion detector was out there.  At that time we didn’t know we should have been looking up instead of on the ground, where the cameras were pointed. We now know her stalker was on the ROOF!

At 8:30 pm Morgan is in the car alone, driving home. She has made plans to go back out with her friend in the morning to go out to breakfast and return applications, that will be filled out by then.  Morgan is confident a job can be had before her friend will have to return to Denver.

Morgan pulls off into the Catherine’s store parking lot at 8:36:38 pm and answers her text from Nicole about babysitting on the weekend, “F… I know. I haven’t talked to Amy. I have no idea what’s going on.”

She then drives over to her friend Calder’s house & talks to him and her other friend Cooper. She then drives Calder & herself over to a house where her friends Nathan, Kara & Kashandra hanging out. She visits with everyone, expecting Nathan to drive home with her as previously planned.  Morgan’s friend Kara later told me Morgan seemed very happy when they spoke, as did Kashandra & Calder. Morgan was hoping to get Nathan to come home with her to sleep over again, but he tells her no.  She goes outside to talk to Calder, who is outside smoking, and Nathan borrows her phone to contact someone.  Nathan reads the texts, and then sends a text to Joey, “Sorry man. Haven’t been near the phone for awhile. And whatever works for you man. I don’t care either way. The fact that you remembered this long is enough. You can forget about it. Just make sure you come chill soon. :)” We know all this later from reading and saving everything on Morgan’s phone.

Morgan leaves, and her two friend’s (Nathan & Calder’s) recollection of Morgan during that short time is completely opposite from each other.  Calder always seems enamored with Morgan and always loved to spend time with her, although now we now know he was a part of her terrorization (he had strong loyalties to Brooke) – probably not thinking she could end up dead.  I also found out that Morgan was upset with Calder, because he had refused to give her the phone number of his friend who had told him about Keenan and his supposed girlfriend Morgan…our Morgan felt really betrayed by Calder, but in typical Morgan form she never stayed angry for long with anyone.  Nathan is concerned more about who she was with today, and what is going on, because he still cares about her and would like to be together again- he is jealous.  She does not want to talk about it and this causes an awkwardness.  I found out later from Nathan that Morgan had asked Nathan to come home with her and sleep over again so she would feel safer, but this night he said no.  Now, it’s just a little before 9:00 pm and Morgan hops in the car and heads for home.  Once again I am starting to get worried about Morgan and ask Steve to see if she is on her way home yet.  He texts her at 8:54:47 pm and asks if everything is OK?

Morgan does not answer, because she is driving and can not text.  She drives up into the driveway 9 minutes later. She goes through her normal routine in the car, and I am waiting for her on the porch, pepper spray in hand and her puppy on the leash, after I hear the driveway alarm go off.  As she opens the car door I begin to tell her how upset I am that earlier she did not answer calls or texts – I was so worried about her.  I remind her about her stalker, and how much I worry about her.  She does not answer, looks down and mumbles an unsavory comment as she walks by me, and takes the leash out of my hand.  Our eyes meet for a second, and I decide she is tired and OK.  (Now years later I wonder if that comment was even aimed at me or was she referring to Brooke because she was so upset over what she believed Brooke was doing to her?  I stand in the foyer and watch her go into her room.  I then go to her bedroom door and knock, she says, “Go away I’m tired.”  So, I head down the hall to my bedroom on the other end of the house.

Tessi (our Newfoundland) was lying in the entryway close to Morgan’s door, just staring at the front door, as if just waiting and guarding.  She looks over at me, and I tell her let’s go to bed.  We usually left Tessi loose during the stalking, so she could wander the house all night in order to warn us if someone ever got in the house.  Steve did not want her loose that night, because he thought she might bark and wake everyone up, because of the increased patrols. This is just one of the many things we did wrong this night that added up to the perfect storm. We were all so exhausted from lack of sleep. Tessi paddles down the hall behind me, and when I get into our room I ask Steve if he will talk to Morgan.  He asks if she is upset, and I say she might be.  Steve says he will wait ten minutes just in case.  No matter how mad we may make Morgan, it never lasts more than ten minutes.  I already know that in the morning she will apologize for what she said and explain what happened tonight, it will all make perfect sense, and it will be behind us.  It has happened like that on so many mornings, it is safe for me to say it has never failed.  I used to always tell Morgan, “You don’t have to apologize – heck your brother and sister never did when they got mad at me,” but Morgan was different and if she snapped at someone and didn’t think it was justified she would always apologize – she said everyone should always speak how they feel, and then they never have to feel bad later, so apologies were good.

I turned off the light and got into bed.  Two minutes later the video camera records motion coming over the berm toward the house.  We will not see it for some time – not until months after Morgan’s murder.

Steve has counted his imaginary time for Morgan to be happy, and he gets out of bed.  Morgan can get upset, but she never stays upset.  A good Zen Buddhist would never let their anger control them – and that was Morgan’s personality.

Steve walks to Morgan’s room and knocks, she answers.  Tessi has followed him back out of our room again and stations herself by the front door – smart and intuitive dog – too bad Steve and I did not listen to our dog.  Steve asks Morgan if he can come in, and she says, “Of course.”  He sees that she is on her phone texting, and he offers to come back later.  Morgan presses send for the last time on her phone, and announces, “Nope, all done for the night.”  She was lying across the bed in her jammies, on her stomach, and propped up on her elbows.  Her legs were folded at the knees and her ankles are crossed, gently moving back and forth.  She is smiling. And asks Steve what’s up?  They both know why he is there, because she had a moment of anger, and he wants to ask her about it.  This is something Steve and Morgan have done since she was a little girl.  She’s twenty now, and if you ask her she will admit it is something they have always done, but she will also never call her daddy to come in to cheer her up, he just always has good timing.  Tonight, she does not need any cheering up.  Steve and her talk about developments in her life, how some friends of hers are doing better, and some just need a little more time.

Steve talks to her about oil painting.  He has been so busy at work he has not had much time, but he wants to go in for another painting class with Morgan, because he just got an email and the classes have started up again.  Morgan says she would really like that.  They talk about how her older sister really wants to make jewelry, and Morgan reminds him they are supposed to get a metal clay kiln for Christmas, and they can all use it.

Morgan is concerned about babysitting the next day because she is afraid she is contagious (she has been coughing), and she does not want to get all of the children sick, but she does not know if they can get a replacement for her on such short notice.

Steve tells her that she should wait until morning, she is getting to sleep early, and maybe she will feel much better in the morning.  He remarks that she already looks much better since Monday morning, and if she had not he would have never let her come to the shop and pack bins for him.

Steve confessed that he wished he could run faster and he could catch this guy, and it could be over.  He is choked up, because defending his family is a huge thing for Steve.  Morgan tells him it’s OK, and I love you daddy.  He tells her how much he loves her and says goodnight.  This was the last time he would ever speak with her – he just didn’t know it at the time.  Now when I go over things in my mind, and realize there were signs that something might be wrong…Tessi didn’t want to stay in our bedroom, she wanted to stay in the entry staring at the front door, and Steve had to drag her to our room, and close the door.  I always left the bedroom door open, just in case, so Tessi could patrol the house if she needed to, but we were all so tired Steve put her in our room, and closed the door.  The next mistake we made, part of the “Perfect Storm” that night was that Steve thought we should both have a good nights sleep so we both took sleeping pills that night – I usually did not, because I never wanted to miss any unusual sounds, or Morgan trying to send me a text, or if she had to push her panic button (although that sound was loud enough to wake us up), but this night I agreed and I did take a whole sleeping pill.

At 9:52 pm our neighbor Matt, from across the street comes home, and right behind him is a car, I think I know the occupants, but am not sure, so I won’t say.  And a few minutes later Brooke’s friend, Hannah Hurlocker, is on her Facebook wall again, this time adding, “Some people are like slinkys. Pointless but amusing to watch when you kick them down the stairs. ?”

At 11:56 pm the 1st of December is just about over and the Great Room video camera catches something moving behind our next-door neighbor Rhonda’s pine tree.  But, we are all fast asleep by now and don’t know what evil is approaching.

The absolute fear, stress, exhaustion and utter helplessness of that day, 11 years ago, can still be felt, as though it is happening right now, today.

If only…so many thoughts keep going through my mind…how did I not know what was about to happen? My gut was screaming at me that something bad was about to happen, but my logical mind kept telling me that tonight was Thursday and in only a few more days the sheriffs would most likely be making an arrest. If my logical mind had only realized that this would be the most dangerous time for a stalking victim, but I did not know.

 

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.

For All Victims/Survivors of Stalking…This is your Fight Song

Don’t know if you need to hear this today but this song always gives me a little extra encouragement to push forward…your life is important, and you deserve to have a life free from your stalker. Never give up!

Fight Song by Rachel Platten. The theme of this song is that no matter what situation you’ll always have a spark of fight in you to make it through.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xo1VInw-SKc