On December 2, six years ago, I found Morgan’s lifeless body in her room. She had been relentlessly stalked and terrorized for four months straight, before she was murdered. Steve and I both lived through those four months of stalking, right along with her, and we would both have given up our lives to keep her safe, but we were not given that chance. This was the one-story house we lived in at the time:
My mind keeps bringing me back to this house – we moved out less than 2 months after her murder…and yet, because Morgan has still not received justice, everything that happened during the stalking, and leading up to her murder, keeps playing over and over again in my mind. My thoughts are still “trapped” in that house. Her stalkers lived only three houses down from us. They were obsessed and relentless. Morgan had identified her stalkers and was scheduled to do an on-camera interview for the sheriffs just five days later – they killed the witness. The felony stalking detective, assigned to our case, told me, only three days earlier, that he believed the stalking was going to escalate – and it did…ending in Morgan’s murder.
What we do know about the sheriff’s response to Morgan’s stalking certainly could never be called, “effective intervention.” And ignoring the predicted escalation of her case, that ended with her murder, can never be changed. As for suspects in Morgan’s stalking and death, in September of 2012 a local radio station was doing a story, and requested the files – for the “person named in the report: Morgan Ingram”. This is the first set of files given in response to that request…
Activity reports on Keenan Vanginkel and Brooke Harris were given to the radio station without asking, in response to the request for reports in which the person named was Morgan Ingram. The 2 perpetrators known by the sheriffs in Morgan’s stalking.
When Keenan and Brooke became possible suspects, the deputies were quick to comment on the lengthy and troubling history with the law they both had. The deputy in charge of reports knew, as well as all the deputies knew that Keenan and Brooke were the only suspects.
We believe Detective Glassmire wanted to enforce the law and end Morgan’s stalking, but he was restrained by unnamed superiors in his GarCo sheriff’s department. He confided this fact with us more than once. His narratives in Morgan’s reports are vague and omit entire stalking events, such as repeated confrontations by Keenan at the Thunder River intersection. Morgan was faced with Keenan escalating his stalking of Morgan on the way home from her school. She was afraid to go out into the parking lot after class alone.
Incredibly, Glassmire dismissed this new emotional distress for Morgan. In fact, on one of the following emails he reasoned, “a little over a year ago Keenan’s father did have an address over in that area.” As if Keenan could be just visiting his dad and managed to meet Morgan at the traffic light controlled intersection 4 or 5 times in a few weeks just by chance. A professional engineer estimated, and believes the odds of this are easily in the order of 1 in a million or more. We were later told that Keenan and his dad Wade Vanginkel had lived in New Castle, Colorado at the time, far from this intersection. See the Wildlife Cam exhibit for far more detail on this escalation.
The sheriffs knew who was involved in the stalking – the suspect(s) had been identified and were in the police reports, and yet this very morning, December 2, 2011, the detective looked me straight in my eyes and said, “I can assure you the stalking had nothing to do with this…Morgan’s death is a mystery until we hear from the pathologist.” I was in shock! With absolutely no fingerprints taken, no DNA taken, and knowing her body was found in an entirely different position than she had died in (her body had been moved postmortem and staged) all I can ask now is WHY? Why did he say that? Why did the sheriffs not want to investigate what was an obvious crime scene?
Here is a crime scene photo of her room, taken by the deputy coroner (we did not get to see the crime scene photos until almost 2 years after her murder, and they were not given to us by the sheriffs)…this was the scene of a struggle! I was in her room the night before at ~8:00 pm, and her room did not look like this. The vacuum had been upright and I had walked through her room, all the way to the window to the left of her bed (pictured here) and her floor was clear – not covered in clothes and other items. There were no clothes on the floor – freshly washed and folded clothes were on her desk, they were folded neatly on the end of her bed, before she said goodnight – she had done her wash earlier in the day, as she was planning on going out of town for the weekend.
Can you see in the picture that her bottom sheet is missing? It was never found – the white mattress cover can be seen in the picture, but the fitted bottom sheet that had been over it is gone, and the sheriffs knew – they mentioned the sheet being gone to us that very morning. Many other things were missing, as were the p.j.’s she was wearing when Steve said goodnight to her. They were never found either…and can you see in the picture, the left side of the bed is covered with clothes, etc.? That is exactly where we found her body, on her left side, head on her pillow, with the blanket pulled up to her shoulder…there were no clothes on the bed when we found her…who piled those clothes on her bed, in the exact place we found her body, before the deputy coroner got there and took the pictures, and why? Instead of an investigation, we read that a sheriff made a note on the police report that her room looking “slovenly” kept – seriously! I know it is called the “CSI effect” when people think that the police and CSI come in on every crime scene, and really “investigate,” but that is so far from the truth in most places. This was a complete sham of an investigation!
Am I angry? You better believe it! Have I lived in pain every day since? More than you will ever know. It is horrific when your child is violently taken, and then when you are then let down by law enforcement, it just heaps on more pain and anger. I would never want what happened to our daughter Morgan to happen to another young woman. Morgan’s stalking and murder was “swept under the rug” as soon as her body was found, and then followed up by the false conclusion by the contracted pathologist, Dr. Kurtzman, who said she had died from Natural Causes for the first 9 months, when the scientific certainty showed that was not true. He then changed her manner of death to suicide after that – after more scientific certainty and medical facts showed that was not true either…but both of these manners of death allowed Sheriff Lou Vallario to keep Morgan’s case from ever being investigated.
As Rhonda Saunders said, “One thing I know about stalkers is they never stop.” http://www.stalkingalert.com/biography.htm
And I believe the suspect(s) in Morgan’s case will not stop either. Our family will never give up until Morgan receives justice…we know we can never get Morgan back, and we know we will never have closure, but we also know that we will never give up until those responsible for Morgan’s stalking, and murder are punished – never again walking free among us, we never want them to prey on another innocent soul.
We love you, and miss you Morgan…forever and a day!
Tomorrow, on December 2, 2017, it will have been 6 years since our daughter Morgan was murdered. I can’t even begin to explain what that feels like. Nothing in your life could ever prepare you for the day you find your child murdered. Morgan was young, healthy, and in love with life – but her life was cut short by an unspeakable acts of human cruelty.
She was stalked for four months – we were all stalking victims, even our pets, her cat, her puppy, and our dog. They all knew something was wrong, terribly wrong. We were all living through a horrific stalking, never knowing when the next fright, or shock would come. Or when you would be thrust out into the night to search vainly for the tormentor. But the rest of us were not murdered in this final act of demented fantasy – only Morgan suffered that fate. She was attacked and murdered – of that there is no question.
To lose our daughter to murder after fighting to keep her safe during those four months of stalking, became like being buried under an added layer of cruelty that was beyond comprehension. It seemed to grow over time, as acute feelings of injustice, distrust and helplessness brought its own intense pain and sorrow, all of which compounded our initial shock. And yes, there were times it took all the strength I could muster just to breathe…it hurt so much.
Tomorrow our family will light candles again for Morgan, and cry. We will hold each other close and wonder WHY…why is she not here with us? Why was her life taken from us? Why wasn’t it us instead of her? I’m sure these are all the same questions other families ask as well. All of us are forever changed because of the senseless act of evil we call murder. And no amount of justice, restitution, prayer or compassion will ever bring our loved ones back.
So tomorrow, while our family morns the loss of Morgan, please keep Morgan, and our family in your thoughts. Please remember her for who she was – not a victim of stalking or murder, but a beautiful, kind, and loving soul who graced this planet for only 20 short years.
Thank you so much for all your love and support – it means more than words could ever express.
I always told Morgan, “I Love You To The Moon and Back,” and now, through my tears, I tell her, “I Miss You To The Moon and Back.”
I know she wouldn’t want me to cry like this, but I also know that she understands. An invisible bond exists between a mother and her child – it forms as they grow inside, before they are even born into this world. It is a bond that even death can not sever.
Ever since Morgan was a toddler, her and I had a little secret between us…whenever we were holding hands we would “squeeze” the others hand to say, “I love you.” No one else would know, and we would always smile after the other one “squeezed.” I feel so blessed when I remember that even during her last 4 months, even during the horrific, life-altering stalking, we still had moments when we “squeezed” each others hands…I just wish we could still do it. Now there are times when I feel her close by, and I squeeze the air with my hand in the hope that she still feels it.
It is now Thursday, November 30th – and I am dreading this coming Saturday, as it will be 6 years since Morgan was taken from us. Yes, taken from us at the hands of another. One day, when those who were involved in taking her life, are held accountable, we will finally feel like justice was served, but there will never be closure – how could there be? There can never be closure when such a violent, senseless act has stolen the life of your child. Morgan will never get to finish her last 2 years of college, never be able to go to law school, never have a career, or a wedding, or children. She will never get to go on vacations to Lithuania and Italy, as she planned. She was teaching herself Lithuanian, and would call me “Motina.” On her cell phone I was listed as Motina, that was how it showed up when I called, or sent her a text message. It means mother, and love in Lithuanian…the sadness that I feel is so overwhelming today, it is hard to put into words, so now, I will stop trying.
I haven’t posted anything for a while…the holidays are hard for anyone who has lost a loved one, and our family is no exception. My heart has been breaking more and more every day, as the days grow closer to this coming Saturday, December 2nd. Saturday will be the horrible reminder that 6 years have passed since Morgan was taken from us. It is a hurt that I can never explain – it goes down deep into my very soul.
Being together, and close on Thanksgiving, was nice, and as usual, very hard – all at the same time. Putting on a happy face, while hurting so badly inside is never easy, but I do it, as do others. See, you never “get over” the loss of a child. We set an extra place at the table for Morgan, and then we realized someone else at the table had just lost her husband, about a year ago, as well as her 19-year-old daughter before that, so I told her the empty seat and place setting was for all of them…none are forgotten – as long as they are still in our hearts and minds. She started to cry, and was so happy to have an opportunity to talk about the husband and daughter she had lost.
I really wish that others could understand our pain, but at the same time I would never want them to experience the same loss that we have had in order to understand. No one could ever understand that pain, unless they had experienced that ultimate loss – the loss of their child. I would never wish that upon any other parent!
So many people tell me that I am such a strong person, but in reality I wasn’t given a choice. Losing Morgan was the worst thing that has ever happened to me…a part of me died with her on December 2, 2011. And yet the sun still comes up every morning, and the world continues to turn. So just like other parents who have had a child taken from them, I take a deep breath every morning, and try to put on a smile. I tell myself I am grateful that I have been given the gift of another day, a gift Morgan had stolen from her, a new day in which I can choose to do something good for someone else, in honor of Morgan.
Saturday will be an exceptionally hard day for all of us, and then the fight for justice will continue…because Morgan deserves justice.