MURDER is not political…murder is murder. It is the taking of a life against another person’s will. It is the crime of killing someone deliberately.
A suspicious death (which our daughter Morgan’s death was categorized as the very morning of her murder) should always be investigated as if it were foul play until proven otherwise. Makes sense doesn’t it? But Morgan’s suspicious death was not. What went wrong? Is this something that has happened many times in rural areas? Because that is how it was explained to me yesterday. “That is what happens in rural areas.” But does that make it right? Oh course not. Does that mean you can just look the other way and shrug? Of course you can’t. If murder in a rural area gets less investigation then a murder in a big city does that mean that any of us living in a rural area should be frightened for our lives because criminals know they can get away with murder in those areas?
Morgan’s life was taken against her will and swept under the rug for what is being called “political reasons” the local sheriff still refuses to investigate three years later. This is not for lack of credible evidence – there is plenty of credible evidence. Our daughter was killed during an active stalking investigation. She was a victim of stalking, the sheriffs knew who the suspect was, so why wouldn’t there be an investigation into our daughter Morgan’s murder? Anyone with children would assume that if the unthinkable happened, if their child was killed, there would be a complete and thorough investigation. Why would you expect any less? But what if you found out there would be no investigation? Actually quite the opposite. There was complete avoidance of any of the questions my husband and I were asking after our daughter’s death, silly me, I thought they were actually investigating and couldn’t understand why they were refusing to follow up on any of the evidence of foul play, I just thought they were keeping it from us because this was an active investigation…I was wrong.
Now I have heard from people about “why” the county wants to cover-up our daughter’s stalking and murder, but those “whys” are unacceptable – there are no acceptable explanations for a non-investigation, which includes a cover-up. I really don’t believe that a county should be allowed to cover-up crime so they don’t have to report it. Could it be a county that relies on money from tourists may not want it’s true crime statistics known as it might scare everyone off – so instead they may decide not to report those crimes? Or is it because in other places across the United States where fracking is taking place the crime statistics have soared and people are very upset, so are they intentionally keeping their crime statistics down by not pursuing and not reporting crime? Possibly – because I now know they intentionally swept our daughter’s stalking and murder under the rug, and they made sure they wrote up their reports with the express idea of not reporting the true nature of the crimes. The one thing I wonder about is how that can it be legal? When law enforcement is required to report their crimes to the F.B.I. and instead they “fudge” the statistics by not reporting them, how can it be legal? Why is there no accountability? Most law enforcement agencies do honestly report their true crime statistics, so are the honest law enforcement agencies okay with the other agencies that lie? I don’t think so – I believe bad officers put a stain on all officers who serve proudly. I have tremendous respect for law enforcement. I can’t even begin to imagine how hard it is for dedicated officers that are trying to do a good job when they are left with a community that no longer trusts them because of the actions by a few bad officers.
A victim is supposed to be treated with dignity, honor and respect – these are all things our daughter did not receive. Instead the sheriff and coroner’s office have misrepresented and lied about the facts in her case and painted her as someone that she was not. Did they decide to vilify her by lying and defaming her so that no one would question the first incorrect manner of death, as well as the second incorrect manner of death? What we have learned is that by writing down natural causes as her manner of death, on her death certificate, it derailed any investigation into her suspicious death, and then after months of our questioning the coroner’s office, and receiving threats from them to back off, they officially changed her to a suicide, with absolutely no evidence of suicide, which again not only continued the guarantee of no investigation into her murder, but essentially kept other expert professionals from investigating on her families behalf. And in Colorado because of something called ‘Home Rule’ these small rural sheriffs and coroners have the power to do just that. Home Rule basically means that local governments can act in accordance with local communities needs free of interference from higher tiers of the state…so if the local sheriff or coroner does not want something investigated the state does not have the authority to step in. If local governments are transparent and doing what is best for the citizens of their county then it shouldn’t be a problem, but can you see where this type of local power can be used for nefarious reasons?
If local law enforcement does not have the expertise or funds to investigate they always have the option to call in the Bureau of Investigation or other expert groups like the American Investigative Society of Cold Cases (AISOCC) who offers a professional, free, non-biased review of any cold case brought to them by law enforcement, so lack of funds is not a credible excuse. The AISOCC has an elite group of experts, the “best of the best”, to assist in solving cold cases. I have spoken with them, as well as other groups like them, and they would absolutely assist in our daughter Morgan’s case, at no expense to Garfield County, or the state of Colorado, but it has to be brought to them by law enforcement, and only law enforcement, but if Garfield County Sheriff Lou Vallario refuses to ever allow Morgan’s suspicious death to be investigated they can never come in. So why do these small rural areas not call in other agencies to help them? Why would the sheriff refuse to have an investigation of our daughter’s murder when there is ample new evidence that shows foul play? There is a reason…
Morgan was a victim of an active felony stalking investigation at the time of her death. Her death was a premeditated murder. It was a staged crime scene, and her body showed evidence of a struggle as well as having been moved postmortem…what else would you have needed to initiate an investigation? The coroner’s office should have at least put down “undetermined” which would have allowed an investigation to be launched. But even in the case of the Jensen brothers in Mesa County, CO, where the same forensic pathologist that did Morgan’s autopsy came up with 2 different but both incorrect manners of death in Morgan’s case, wrote that the Jensen boys manner of death was accidental. Despite what the pathologist said the District Attorney and the Mesa County Sheriffs (not Garfield like in Morgan’s case) still investigated it as a suspicious death & even charged, extradited & arrested a suspect (their mother) in their case. This was even after the coroner refused to put undetermined or homicide on the death certificate. The Colorado Supreme Court ruled that the jurors should not take into consideration the forensic pathologist’s “opinion” of what he “thought” the mother was thinking at the time (correct me if I am wrong, but I don’t think “guessing” what a potential criminal is thinking is the job of the forensic pathologist), which is why he wrote “accidental” instead of “undetermined.” The court ultimately acquitted Heather Jensen of criminally negligent homicide, but found her guilty of child abuse resulting in death and false reporting and she is serving time in prison. If the District Attorney & Sheriff in Mesa County, CO had just given up because of the pathologist and coroner’s ruling there would not have been any justice for the Jensen boys.
Then there is the other excuse that I have heard about why rural law enforcement sometimes “buries” cases to make them go away – I have been told it is because they don’t have the manpower or resources to pursue them. This is also a cop-out, and not a legitimate excuse. When law enforcement opens an investigation and they feel they do not have the ability, finances or technology to solve the crime AGAIN I WILL SAY they always have the option to invite in their state’s Bureau of Investigation or other groups with HUGE experts behind them, like the American Investigative Society of Cold Cases (AISOCC) for assistance in building a case. So why wouldn’t rural law enforcement use these resources? Do you know why they wouldn’t?
I guess I could go on and on about other reasons people have suggested to me, like the criminal having some “tie” to the police or sheriffs or being a drug informant for law enforcement, but I don’t feel the need to do that because even if it were true they are still unacceptable in my opinion. Why would any of these “excuses” be acceptable when it comes to a murderer remaining free and an innocent victim being lied about? People that actually knew Morgan personally know she did not take prescription drugs because she believed they were dangerous, she led an extremely healthy life, eating organic foods when possible, meditating, doing yoga, art, being around nature and animals, not allowing drama into her life. She did volunteer work along with her busy school schedule, and part time work schedule. She encouraged others her age to stay in school, and even talked a few people that were depressed out of commiting suicide (I didn’t know this until these people confided in me after Morgan’s death)…that is really who Morgan was, so how dare the sheriff & forensic pathologist try to paint her as an occasional cocaine user (absolutely NOT true and there was NO cocaine or any other illegal drugs or alcohol found in her body) or lie and accuse her of killing herself! I believe they wrote their reports with NO investigation to fit their purpose of no homicide. Let me know what you think?
After reading many articles about people (even law enforcement) that have come forward in other cases to testify (they have been called whistle blowers – I don’t know why they aren’t they called honest people with a moral compass), I have come to the conclusion that what has happened in Morgan’s case is not an isolated case…it happens all too often. And it is the shear force of power that some people think they can wield over others that in most cases keep “honest” people from coming forward. It may work in some cases, it may even work in most cases, but it does not work in all cases. Too many people understand that if murder can be “swept” under the rug then none of us can ever really be safe. If and when this happens we can not protect our own families, and we no longer live in a world that makes any rational sense. Change can and will be made for the good of all people by the shear will and perseverance of the people.
None of us can sit back and allow inaction by local officials to work in a cover-up. Good can triumph over evil. There are lessons in courage; learning about standing up for what is right. If you go along with evil, because of your own fear, you will ultimately learn how much it hurts to violate the laws we know to be true, you will be violating something you know inside to be wrong.
Things that are important to us…things that we care about in our lives, things like our life, liberty and justice should never be “given” away to others because of our own fear. If you don’t believe in yourself who will? Through patience, perserverance, and tenacity we will get an investigation into our daughter’s suspicious death and there will be justice one day, of this I am sure. How can I say this you wonder? Because we will NEVER give up.
We can’t keep waiting for the world to change – we have to be that change. Be the hero you know you can be. Morgan will love you even more for it…