Wylah is helping Morgan’s friends get ready for the Carbondale Mountain Fair
Counting the days,
We have hopes, Steve and I, and realistic expectations. The Blog is quiet, but we are working hard, and the United States Postal Service, and FedEx deliver letters, with plenty of documents for us. We want Morgan’s case opened, we want the truth to come out, and we want justice for Morgan.
Morgan is, and will always be on our mind, along with the next young woman whom we so fervently work to prevent a repeat of what happened to Morgan, and as it turns out this week – another young woman who disappeared, under suspicious circumstances, in Garfield County, only to have her family receive a quick, “no foul play here,” from our Garfield County Sheriffs department.
Her remains were discovered close to where she initially went missing and, thanks to the CBI, oh what I would not give for their presence at Morgan’s death scene, the remains were identified, and our most heartfelt condolences goes out to her family. It is a day even I can only imagine what it is like as they were wishing it were not true.
Her story of the moment is here, Young woman’s remains found near where she went missing have been identified. And with two young children left at the wayside, and wondering, I can only pray that the long overdue justice for a missing young woman, that was both a mother, and a daughter, comes swiftly and atoning for the callous undeserved treatment of the past.
Garfield County again displays its indifference to Crimes Against Women and what a total lack of regard for Constitutional rights goes on, unless it involves a gun, portending nothing encouraging for all the women, young and old, who live here.
On the morning Morgan was found, dead, to err on the side of too much, instead of too little, should have come with no question. Instead it did not come at all for Morgan, and how long it takes for grieving parents to fully realize that is just amazing. I have recently taken delivery of the “FBI handbook of crime scene forensics,” and once again get to read about all of the essential actions that did not take place at Morgan’s crime scene, so far they are innumerable.
They, being the Garfield County Sheriffs Department, could have made one phone call, to the CBI, the agency that Pitkin County, a Garfield neighbor that takes crime seriously, would call without question, in fact it is not only without question, it is protocol, the rules. For a microscopic evaluation of a suspicious death scene that Morgan deserved after four months of stalking, and a worry on the mind of her felony stalking Detective who warned us, “if anything her stalking will escalate,” and three days later, Morgan is found dead.
Months later I deal with the threats of the contracted forensic pathologist to change her cause of death to suicide, but he couldn’t find any pills or residue of pills in her stomach, threats which are ignored when I report this to the Coroner who hired this man, and the Sheriffs who, actually I don’t really know what they do, except to stand up for your right to bear arms. Even write essays about it.
But you know what? When your daughter is murdered and the Sheriffs and Coroner ignore the threats you are reporting; but detectives run, two at a time, to record the report of your gnome gone from your porch, but still refuse, yes blatantly refuse, to report the burglary of Morgan’s jewelry on the night she was killed – something is not right. When that is your reality – the right to bear arms becomes but soft whisper in the far distance.
It did not take a gun to protect Morgan, as her stalking was expected to escalate. It took something that Garfield County did not have, and does not have today, it took simply the knowledge of how to effectively deal with stalkers, especially the kind that was stalking Morgan, one of the most dangerous typologies.
I have recently read protocols that explain what to do if the first attempt to catch the stalker failed, how attempts could be completely changed for the next stalking incident. Morgan’s protocol was based on the lie that some unwritten law in the State of Colorado required seven weeks, 49 days, before it could be considered a stalking case.
As if that lie was not bad enough, in the non-attempt to protect Morgan, it was actually 68 days before I received a phone call from the Detective that was finally assigned to the case. Even with their total misconception of the laws they are sworn to uphold, they thought somehow 49 days being the requirement, it became over 70+ days before we even had a case number, and so then the fact that Morgan was a stalking victim was not a complete shock to the new Deputy arriving to answer a call of yet another stalking incident. A call not to 911, as this was not necessary, they answered a call from the Sheriff’s dispatch number.
If my math is correct that was three weeks longer than their incorrect knowledge of Colorado Law, the ones they were sworn to uphold. Ten weeks of stalking, ten weeks of oh, we are not allowed to collect evidence until a Detective is assigned to the case. Ten weeks of complete terror for Morgan. Then at the end, three days before she was killed it was, “if anything it was going to escalate.” And Morgan was dead, of natural causes, until her doctors told me it was all wrong, and I told the contracted forensic pathologist, “Excuse me, due to this fact, and that fact, a few very prominent doctors in the country think you might have made a mistake here?”
A Mesa County Investigator shook his head and told me, “Oh Dr. Kurtzman does not like to be wrong.” And I say, what about Morgan? What about my 20-year-old daughter that was killed – according to what every other single person reviewing her autopsy is telling me. I say that is not denial!!! Not a mother who can’t accept! It is simply the truth, and it never changes. Her Amitriptyline blood level of 7,909 will not change. It will always be very, very astronomical. Morgan weighed 115 pounds. So in another report a woman who weighed 171 pounds was the highest yet recorded, would Morgan’s blood level (if you took into account her weight and the fact that her blood was drawn approximately 12 hours after her death) not be the equivalent of 11,863+? Absolutely one of the highest levels ever recorded at a top lab in the country. But it was being called insignificant according to the contracted forensic pathologist who did her autopsy. A fact that the officials in Garfield County chose to ignore. Then let’s add in the five date rape drugs found in her gastric fluid, seven months later, and those numbers or detectability of the drugs present will not change. The astounding malpractice of the contacted forensic pathologist to jump into this evidentiary quagmire that exhausted her sample, when the truth is supposed to be somewhere within his scope, or sphere of influence, just has everyone asking why?
And, why oh why, does a contracted forensic pathologist suddenly take it upon himself to run more tests on a, “closed case.” After threats to me that he could do just that, and another prominent forensic pathologist assured me that he can not. But out of fear, and worry I reported to the Sheriffs department, and the Coroner his threats, then he carries through on his threats. Is there justice for Morgan somewhere in all that? Because if there is I must have missed it…completely.
And last week another set of bones was discovered (see the link above), a young woman labeled as, “no sign of foul play.” And NOW there is an investigation, eight years after her death. Why don’t they just amend the Garfield County sign on the highway to include the warning that if you are a woman, you might want to keep driving, because you are not very safe here?
If you are missing you will be called a runaway (even if you have never run away before, even if you are a straight A student – doesn’t matter they won’t look in to it), unless you are 22 with 2 children, then it will simply be called no sign of foul play, so no investigation, basically the same thing. If that is not blatant discrimination against women, then what would it take? Really, what would it take to correctly label what is going on here?
In some cases a simple lacking of knowledge would be better than none at all. But just what do I mean by that? I’m focusing on only one thing – the training of the Garfield Sheriffs to carry out a specific task. A task I wasn’t aware they took on in its entirety. It is very specialized and training intensive. Months ago, a typical scenario for another law enforcement agency was explained to Steve and I, so we could identify similarities and alas, there were none.
I am talking about the proper processing of a death scene. The single most important element to an eventual arrest and conviction of the criminal. There is undoubtedly no one best way to do it, but then there would certainly be a minimum, a bare minimum. I researched once into the Deputy Coroner of the Garfield County, Where our daughter Morgan was killed, and then her death scene investigation was conducted.
Before it was so upsetting to discover the fact that just a little to the west, in the next county over, in Mesa County, there is a different coroner naturally. But this coroner is himself a medical doctor and requires every deputy coroner to complete two different certifications (not so in the county where Morgan was murdered):
1. Investigator to be a member in the Colorado Coroner’s Association (CCA). The CCA sets standards for minimum training to become a member and requires continuing education to maintain membership.
2. The American Board of Medicolegal Death Investigators (ABMDI) ® is a voluntary national, not-for-profit, independent professional certification board that has been established to promote the highest standards of practice for medicolegal death investigators.
This is the minimum in the adjoining Colorado county. The Garfield County Coroner is not a doctor, which is not required, he was an owner of the funeral home and legally only needed a High School diploma, and the Deputy Coroner at Morgan’s death scene was the funeral home manager at Farnum-Holt Funeral Home and had none of the training required by Mesa County – none. The Deputy Coroner does not need to meet any requirements, not even a High School diploma, but he is responsible for certain filings, etc., which …this is who showed up at Morgan’s crime scene to determine if there was any foul play. Thomas Walton, the then Garfield County Deputy Coroner – after all our due diligence, collecting all the state documents, we now know he had no training, and did none of the paperwork required for this position, making him legally not a deputy coroner. He was the one who took the crime scene photos we have, never took a body temp, and said he got all his “facts” from the sheriffs, he never interviewed us. He later said he could not make any changes on Morgan’s PER unless instructed by Detective Glassmire, because that is where he got all his information. The law clearly shows this is not what should be done.
But I was not there when he wrote up his “Autopsy Request” in which his “facts” were all wrong, and now as read the unattended death report for Morgan, I find that Thomas Walton – Chief Deputy Coroner of Garfield County – didn’t really do anything, the sheriffs by their recounting, were the ones involved. But they have no certification in death scenes either! Is this a search for the truth? Is this how you would want a suspicious death investigated? Colorado law clearly states this is not how you do it – but that didn’t stop them in Morgan’s case.
In fact, in the neighboring county, that I refer to, they actually have standards, and the law enforcement officers are not to touch the body, maybe because they are not trained! There were observations made the Garfield County Sheriffs investigators that are completely wrong and contradict each other, maybe, once again, because they have no training in death scene investigating. And before the crime scene photos were even taken (maybe before the deputy corner even arrived) someone had illegally tried to close Morgan’s eye, wiped blood off her face, covered her up with a towel, and many other things that they are NEVER supposed to do in a suspicious death investigation. Incompetence, inadequate investigation, “bumbling” like the DA said, or something more sinister?
So as I look at this more globally, it is a sad state of affairs. For any death in Garfield County at that time, it was likely going to be presided over by a funeral home manager from Farnum-Holt Funeral Home, with no real training in death scene investigation. He does not even belong there! And then doing the actual hands on investigating will be sheriff’s officers with no certification in death scene investigation. Did the honorable District Attorney even know this when she said that the Garfield County Sheriff’s Department completely botched the investigation?
In Mesa County, Colorado, deputy coroners have two forms of certification in death scene investigation, ongoing education, and law enforcement – look but don’t touch, you are not trained. In Garfield County, none of the above. Does apprehending and convicting the criminals mean anything here? Is it just an after thought? Not really a serious consideration? Or is it just women they do this to?
Morgan’s death scene investigation was no investigation at all as far as I can see. The observations made are contradicted by the contracted forensic pathologist whom none of the experts that have looked over Morgan’s case agree with so I’m left to conclude they are most likely both incorrect. Is this how my daughter’s investigation should have been conducted? Untrained, no trained, little training, and please don’t give me an excuse about on-the-job-training. Experience by doing it with no training a few times, learn from your mistakes. It is unbelievable to me! Morgan deserved far more than that.
We can’t bring Morgan back, and we can’t have a do over on her investigation. What I really want to know is what do we tell he next family and their girl. I truly and very deeply worry for them now.
We know that Morgan was killed. The doctors, the specialists, and the professors who’s pleas to Garfield County that fell on deaf ears have assured us of that fact.
We know the history the Ingram family now has with the contracted forensic pathologist hired by the Garfield County Coroner.
- He found Morgan’s manner of death from a disease she was never, ever diagnosed with.
- In his contracted capacity as the forensic pathologist, he is required by statute to manage the death scene, which he did not.
- He threatened me, more than once, I reported this to the Detective, and to the Coroner, and neither one ever answered me. Say something they don’t like to hear, even if true, and they ignore you.
- Doctors helping us wanted to run tests on Morgan’s remaining samples, to help prove other possible manners of death. The contracted pathologist knew this, but still ordered tests on samples in secrecy, violating our victims rights, and completely exhausting the samples remaining. Why would he do this?
- Based on results that only further proved foul play, the pathologist found her death a suicide based on the theoretical ingesting of a quantity of pills that would not even be a fraction of a lethal dose.
Every day brings us closer to protracted litigation at a staggering cost as our only alternative to giving up.
On the first episode of Dr. Phil, the death scene evidence establishing the presence of someone in her room was not mentioned due to ongoing investigation on our part, as the Sheriff’s Department had given up the morning she was found dead. This included –
- Morgan’s room was, for many reasons, very noticeably and completely disheveled from previous afternoon, and evening.
- Her panic button, which rang a chime in our room, was torn off its mount on her nightstand, and found later on the floor under clothes.
- Morgan was dressed in street clothes, and she never slept in street clothes. These clothes she was found in were not the same clothes that she wore home the night before.
- Morgan’s PJ’s she was wearing that night when going to sleep were gone.
- A suspicious spray was detected on Morgan’s chest under blacklight, the most primitive means of examining for this, yet the contracted forensic pathologist found nothing on her chest. A spray of dots does not disappear.
- Morgan had wounds on her right hand not seen the night before, and consistent with defensive wounds.
- She had a small red spot on her forehead, the size of a thumb that was not seen the night before by her father.
- She had a small quantity of blood at edge of her lips.
- There was a burn on the inside of her wrist. There are two quite sinister reasons for this, but a Medical Examiner has not had a chance to comment on what he believes it means. I do know that it was new and it was not seen the night before.
- Her eyes were wide open and sold black, consistent with bleeding before she died and then the blood turning black over the course of the night.
- The nails on her right hand were damaged when we saw her body again at the viewing and this is when they were first noticed by us. The contracted pathologist said he did not touch her nails, the detectives say they looked fine to them. The Coroner refuses to give us copies of the pictures taken at her death scene to really know when the damage occured – wouldn’t that be a huge question as it would show that she fought someone off? A big question mark for the time being.
- Morgan was found on the opposite side of bed from where she always slept, facing the opposite direction from where she usually faced.
- I felt her body looked posed when I first saw it, I told the detectives that the same morning, there was no mention of this exact fact.
- Every report and opinion says the indications are simply that she was lying on her stomach, yet I found her on her side, and until Steve moved her to her back, that is how she was lying. She was never on her stomach that morning, not even for an instant.
- Morgan’s lights in her bathroom, attached to her bedroom, went on sometime after midnight, Morgan never slept with lights on. If she were still alive then, she could have turned them on, but she would have turned them off again. The person who observed the lights wanted to explain this, and other things he had observed, but was never questioned by the Sheriff’s department.
- All of Morgan’s jewelry of value went missing from her room sometime that night and was never found again. Keenan had a warrant issued for his arrest (and was arrested just weeks after her murder) for selling jewelry, in person, at a, “cash for gold store.” The Detective insisted I produce a photograph of every piece of Morgan’s jewelry first, and refused to give me even a list of what the stolen pawned jewelry contained. Further the proprietors of the cash for gold store instantly recognized Keenan from a Facebook picture as a regular customer.
- A knife Steve had just purchased for Morgan was in her bed, in an odd place, still in the box, with a happy face drawn on it by Steve.
- A very recent and important gift to Morgan was taken from its box, the box left and the gift never found.
- Morgan’s camera was taken into evidence and returned by the Sheriff’s. When it was returned from evidence, it was missing the memory chip from the camera. The Sheriff’s department has not been able to locate that memory chip or a copy that they would have made if there was a memory chip in it.
- Morgan’s driver’s license was missing from her purse. Her instruction permit which she normally kept in her purse right behind her license was still there, but her current drivers license was missing and has never been located.
- Other doctors helping with Morgan’s case found that she died from a massive overkill, one time dose of Amitriptyline early on in their examination of her toxicology results. The contracted forensic pathologist finally backed off his stance that she died from a disease she was never diagnosed with, and backed off to partially agree with this same conclusion after eight months. He really had no choice as he was clinging to a non-defensible position. A container or any syringe to hold, and administer this very lethal dose was never found in her room, or anywhere in her possessions.
At least three other pieces of evidence exist that point to an intruder in her room that night, but are being withheld at this time. One of these is something taken from the house that was not discovered until just weeks ago. Following every lead to the end will mean taking the video surveillance recorder back out and reviewing all six cameras for another day. So as you can see the investigation never really stops, and useful evidence is constantly refined, our knowledge of what really happened that night will never be 100%, but it is always improving. The real question is, if it was not Keenan in Morgan’s room that night, then who was it?
Now for those of you who do not know her, Morgan was a fighter, ask any of her friends and they will tell you that Morgan would not have gone down without a fight. However, backing up for moment first, and imagining Steve and I when Morgan was first found, then at that moment in time when her cause of death was being called Natural Causes. We did not think anyone was in her room initially and did not thoroughly search for indications. We researched her manner of death to safeguard our grandchildren from some unknown malady. As far as I can tell the Garfield Sheriff’s Department never did any search for an intruder. And as it became more and more obvious someone had to have been in her room, we fought the idea, I believe because it was just too painful to believe. It was quite some time before we could fully accept it.
The first question then became her puppy, Wylah, why would she not have barked? It was a quandary. Then came a possible solution, Steve was being questioned by an investigator, recreating the moment when the first responders were there, at least three big men, all strangers to Wylah. Steve remembers clearly that she just sat on the bed and did not make a sound. That was a good enough solution for the investigator, but I still wonder if there wasn’t some other way that she was subdued, some way that would carry over to subduing Morgan also.
Some have conjectured that she could have been threatened, assured she was not going to be killed, and threatened that one peep and Morgan’s puppy dies, or her cat, or even Morgan’s parents. I could see this happening. Morgan would have been compelled to go along.
Then think of drugs, there were five date rape drugs found in her stomach, none of them ever absorbed into her body, and a massive dose of amitriptyline in her bloodstream, one of he highest doses ever seen at the national crime lab her samples were tested at. Then, what about one more drug to sedate her. The only Tox screens that were run were very basic, and many drugs that would easily have knocked her out would not be detected at all. And not to be mysterious, but there is now a third possibility being checked out that will not be on the blog real soon, but it will find its way here as soon as it’s thoroughly checked out.
And that cry for help, it was real and it was meaningful, if only we had fully understood its importance….
It was coming to a close, the term, “getting close to an arrest,” was being bandied about with new meaning. In a discussion Morgan had with her doctor concerning how she was feeling about her stalker, only 36 hours before we found her lifeless body, Morgan told her doctor that she was positive, and upbeat and that the Detectives in her case felt they were very close to making an arrest. She saw the end of the nightmare, and she smiled at the thought.
On the drive home there were even giggles about the happy thoughts we focused on even though some very disturbing news to Morgan had been told to her by a friend over her cell phone. Instead of going into self-pity mode Morgan, being Morgan asked her dad for a knife for extra protection, which he stopped and purchased for her on our way home. Morgan had such courage and it never left her, even at the bitter end.
The very day before this drive (2 nights before her murder) I asked Detective Glassmire what he thought it meant, with so many upcoming events in her stalking case. About how I thought the colder weather may also turn the stalker away, as one of the Sheriff’s Patrol Officers had mentioned in the beginning of the stalking. When I think back on it now, his answer surprised me for an instant, as he said very matter-of-fact type of way that he felt, “if anything, it was going to escalate.” Just like that, he “felt it was going to escalate.”
To put it in perspective, when you are not getting sleep, watching surveillance videos until you pass out and finding great joy and relief in a trip to Grand junction for an annual gynecological appointment, the word escalate is not something your mind wants to hear, much less process into a tangible thought. Steve would have had some quick comeback, he would not have let that particular word slip by, but Steve was not there. It was only Detective Glassmire and myself, standing at the corner of the house, between Morgan’s room and a tree we would later learn the stalker used to exit the roof.
To find out now that Detective Glassmire had told the suspects about her pending formal interview, on camera, I have to ask…was he thinking that this would scare them? That knowing their goose would soon be cooked was all this case needed to end? No, he knew the answer when he told me that, if anything, there would be a reaction, an increase in intensity, it would escalate. That was Tuesday afternoon, November 30th, 2011, 2 days before Morgan would go to sleep for the last time.
Sandwiched around that day would be an interview with the on again off again prime suspect, known to be involved by the Garfield County Sheriffs Department Detectives, just not in what capacity, Brooke was, “kicked around constantly,” as the leader of the stalking, a participant alongside Keenan, and as knowing what Keenan was doing, but that was all. This was before we would find out that Brooke had a habit of threatening Morgan, telling many others that Morgan was going to get it someday. Detective Glassmire would reveal the date of the pending interview of Morgan with this suspect. Something would happen to raise the Detective’s level of certainty that Keenan was Morgan’s stalker to 100%.
Morgan did not need any more evidence, she was already 100% sure it was Keenan. She was an eyewitness to Keenan’s stalking, having seen him from a distance of less than 15 feet four times. Once getting out of her car to stand in the roadway because she was not about to tell the Deputies she was 99% sure it was him only to be told that was not good enough. Morgan was willing to risk it all to be 100% sure. She did and she was, I was 99% sure, and told Detective Glassmire that.
Keenan would know that the record of his hours working for City Market was going to be handed over the Sheriff’s department the following week. Not only did the Detective think that, “if anything, the stalking was going to escalate.” He would ask for, and receive increased patrols, an extra one or two a night. And they would all be 100% focused up on our roof. What did they find out? And why did they not share it with us?
Knowing why the extra patrols were ordered would have been far more valuable than the extra minute or two of safety the extra patrols gave. If we had known the danger level Morgan was in we would have somehow gotten her away where no one could find her – but we were not given that chance. Was critical information withheld from us? This has been eating at me for such a long time now and I really need to know. Law enforcement doesn’t want to give that up – that would look like they made a mistake so they sweep it under the rug for no one to see. How does that help the next victim? What do you tell her parents, the same lines we were fed? Accountability for your actions and changing the way things are done so it doesn’t happen again is what we teach our children – why were we not told, when our daughters life could have been at stake for all they knew those few days before she was, in fact, killed?