I love and miss Morgan so very much…still waiting and believing that a miracle will happen and Morgan will receive justice. #JusticeForMorgan
“Stalkers with previous violent behaviors, strong negative emotions. and obsessional tendencies toward the victim may be most at risk of future violent and aggressive acts.” https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11714152
One-year-old Morgan, with her whole future ahead of her…then 19 years later that future was horrifically torn from her by her stalker(s), and where is her justice? No family should have to fight like this for justice…the pain of losing your child is enough to destroy any parent, then to have to fight an inept county, in order to get a real investigation, is just too much and should never happen. We need oversight – we need someone to look at these type of cases, with tons of evidence of murder, and say, “Okay, we need to review and investigate this evidence if we are ever going to be able to overturn the plausable false narrative & false manner of death.” We need someone to take responsibility for all the suspicious deaths, like Morgans, that were underinvestigated or just not investigated at all.
People ask me why a sheriff’s department would intentionally overlook evidence, even when it is brought to their attention. I wondered the same thing myself. Some people advised me that it was because that particular sheriff’s department was undertrained, lazy, incompetent, and much more…yes, that could be true in some cases. It could also be more serious and corrupt…sometimes bordering on a cover-up for different reasons. Figuring that out is always a challenge for co-victims. Again, why would a sworn law enforcement agency want to cover-up a murder? I have always respected and praised law enforcement, and still do, but not every agency out there has someone in charge of those amazing officers who is honest and law abiding themselves…it always comes down to who is in charge and sometimes you have to follow the money trail.
I did some digging, after speaking with so many other families who are in the same situation as us, who have also had experts who have determined their loved ones were murdered, but in those cases their sheriff refused to investigate too. In those cases the coroner determined the wrong manner of death, contrary to the evidence – easy way to get out of investigating a suspicious death. Murder investigations cost a lot of money – so, if they have a good excuse not to investigate, they don’t. In the cases where the coroner misrules on the manner of death, stating it was either, ‘Natural’ ‘Accidental’ or Suicide the sheriff does not have to investigate any evidence…they should still investigate, but that is not what usually happens. Then I read about the sheriff’s budget…a sheriff has total control on where his department’s money goes. If he/she does not want to spend it on a costly investigation into murder and he/she wants their county crime stats to reflect less crime, then they can choose not to investigate, no matter what is presented to them – so I thought, this is crazy!!!
But then after researching a little in the case of Sheriff Lou Valario, the sheriff in our county of Garfield, CO, there had not been ANY murders reflected in their crime stats for a whole 10 years before Morgan’s murder and including Morgan…nothing…hard to imagine, as Garfield County was the largest fracking county in Colorado at that time and drugs and violence were definitely happening there. Then I saw an article where Sheriff Vallario was boasting about having a lot of extra money left over in his budget, I believe the article mentioned around $100,000 (note: sheriffs get to keep whatever is not spent to use on whatever they feel is necessary for they agency (with no oversight…it is completely up to the sheriff) – in Vallario’s case it was to be used on things like a tank, etc. for his war against drugs…so much for rapes and murders…I don’t think he cares too much about that type of crime. I am pretty sure his macho and misogynistic self gets really excited at the idea of watching his men drive down the street in this huge armored BearCat…and as you can see in the article, the funds were already there waiting to be spent on something…not murder investigations, but a moment in history when a tank may be needed in a drug bust. https://www.aspentimes.com/news/garfield-county-eyes-armored-vehicle/ “It’s all an illusion,” said Jim Fisher, a former professor of criminal justice at Edinboro University and author of a book on SWAT teams. “The fact your police department just bought an armored vehicle does not make you safer. It’s going to make you poorer, because your taxes will go up to pay for training and maintenance.” Why should these small counties and towns to have tanks that someday could be used against their citizens? http://www.nbcnews.com/id/41912754/ns/technology_and_science-tech_and_gadgets/t/why-do-americas-police-need-armored-tank/#.XY4qIS2ZORs
Sheriffs have a career that affords them tons of power with practically no oversight from anyone, not voters, not other law enforcement or politicians, so corruption can be easy to get away with. Sheriffs are elected, not hired. Police Chiefs are hired, so they live under completely different rules. Then I was shocked to read, what Mirya Holman, a political scientist at Tulane University who studies sheriffs said, “A combination of large budgets and little information provides an environment where corruption is certainly possible, if not probable.”
“Because sheriffs control their own budgets, they can be a little more secret, or a lot more secret, than a police chief who has to answer to a city council or a city manager,” says Seth Stoughton, a former police officer who teaches at the University of South Carolina law school. “The problem of corruption has plagued sheriffs since their inception. Nowhere is this truer than when it comes to raising money on the side, hosting pig roasts and golf tournaments as fundraisers for the nonprofit foundations they’ve set up.” “Any outside foundations that are created — and I think we have four that were created by sheriffs down the line — we don’t even have the authority to audit those things,” says Joe Dill, a member of the Greenville County Council in South Carolina.
“In theory, sheriffs should be highly accountable, since they have to answer directly to voters. But in practice, while a police chief may be lucky to serve three years, it’s not unusual for a sheriff to be around for 20. There’s often meager interest in challenging a sheriff politically. In a small county, there may be only a few other people around with the minimum years of law enforcement experience required for the job. And with most counties dominated politically by one party or the other, sheriffs benefit from the limited attention voters pay to the post.”
With all that being said, even though no one will run against Sheriff Vallario, we will never give up fighting for justice for Morgan will continue to pursue all avenues to have her case investigated.
Morgan loved her keyboard and played it almost every day, from the moment she acquired it. Listening to her play her music and sing was always the highlight of my day. After Morgan died we packed her keyboard away…all these years it never again would play her beautiful music. We left it in storage, along with so many more things of Morgan’s. Last week our son Ryan unpacked Morgan’s keyboard.
Steve & I had finally taken Morgan’s keyboard out of storage, and we gave it to Ryan for our grandchildren to use. It was hard, but I knew Morgan was happy we did it. We realized that it wasn’t right that it was hidden away in storage all these years and never used. Our little 8-year-old grandson had recently gone to his great grandparent’s house, and without any training, he started playing their piano…when I heard this, I just knew our grandchildren needed Morgan’s keyboard. They used to call Morgan their Aunt Gigi, and now they have Gigi’s keyboard to continue playing beautiful music. Boy, does this planet need more music or what? I think so…
Anyway, Ryan unpacked the keyboard the other night and set it up – they sent us a text and said as soon as it was unpacked they all started crying. Yes, Morgan’s death still hurts everyone, not just us, her parents, but so many others all these years later.
Getting justice for Morgan won’t bring her back, and it won’t give anyone closure, BUT we still fight and wait for the knowledge and peace that comes when justice is served.
The United States Department of Justice – Office on Violence Against Women (OVW) https://www.justice.gov/ovw/stalking
STALKING RESOURCE CENTER (A Program of the National Center for Victims of Crimes https://victimsofcrime.org/our-programs/past-programs/stalking-resource-center
NATIONAL INSTITUTE OF JUSTICE https://nij.ojp.gov/topics/articles/overview-stalking
CDC – CENTERS FOR DISEASE CONTROL & PREVENTION (Stalking: Know it. Name it. Stop it.) https://www.cdc.gov/features/prevent-stalking/index.html
VICTIM CONNECT RESOURCE CENTER (The National Center for Victims of Crime) https://victimconnect.org/statistics/stalking/
OFFICE ON WOMEN’S HEALTH https://www.womenshealth.gov/relationships-and-safety/other-types/stalking
OWH (Office of Women’s Health – US Dept. of Health & Human Services https://www.womenshealth.gov/relationships-and-safety/other-types/stalking
STALKING AWARENESS (SPARC – This project was awarded by the U.S. Department of Justice, Office on Violence Against Women (OVW) https://www.stalkingawareness.org
REPORT A STALKER – GOV.UK https://www.gov.uk/report-stalker https://www.gov.uk/report-stalker
Please take stalking serious. Our stalking, with our youngest daughter being the main target, lasted only four months, and we had no idea that it would end with our daughter’s murder. Know what you should do if you are being stalked – educate yourself in order to be safe. Don’t become another statistic. Much love & light to you…the more we know and the more we share our awareness the safer we become. #JusticeForMorgan #JusticeForAllVictimsofStalking