At the suggestion of friends looking out much further into the future than I was, a scholarship fund was suggested to honor Morgan, and after a little thought I landed on the Theatre Program at the local college that Morgan had attended – Colorado Mountain College. Morgan had so many good times there. Philosophy and English and Comparative Religions were among her absolute favorites, while Ballet and Yoga had become mainstays in her life, I doubt she would have ever gone long without them.
With so much help from Debra Burleigh at CMC, who had also always been so helpful for Morgan during her time there, the fund was established through Carol J. Efting, Scholarship and Records Coordinator for the Colorado Mountain College Foundation and will serve as a quiet reminder of Morgan and what she had been able to achieve with her perseverance and dedication – for many years to come.
We knew it would have made Morgan very happy because one of her big things in life was to always try and get others to stay in school, go to college, and learn as much as they could. Support in her memory will fund a student in the Theatre program and Graeme Duke was the first year’s recipient – congratulations Graeme! And thank you to all those that contributed to the fund, and are continuing to contribute to the fund – it will make a huge difference in another student’s life as well.
In order for contributions to be tax deductible checks should be made payable to the CMC Foundation – earmarked to CMC Spring Valley Theatre in memory of Morgan Ingram. The CMC Foundation tax ID number is 74-2393418. All contributors who provide a legitimate address will receive a formal acknowledgment letter. If you have any questions you can contact Carol J. Efting, Scholarships and Records Coordinator, Colorado Mountain College, PO Box 1763, Glenwood Springs, CO 81602. Her phone # is 970-947-8355 and email firstname.lastname@example.org website: cmcfoundation.org
After 2 weeks, that we had never sat down to have an in depth interview with the detectives since the morning of Morgan’s death and that continued to bother me. The morning of her death Detective Rob interviewed both Steve and myself, but it was very brief and we were in shock – now that things had calmed down a little, and our minds were seeing things much more clearly again, it would have been so nice to get questions from the Sheriff’s in order to give them information that was not readily available to us the morning Morgan died because of the state of confusion we were in. I kept asking and they kept assuring us that they had what they needed for now.
Steve and I spent lots of time house hunting. Without Morgan, and with a stalker who was no longer muscling his unwanted presence into our immediate plans, we were far more wide open. Anywhere actually, I just wanted to get out of here as soon as possible – I couldn’t stand being in this house where something so horrible had happened to our daughter. But nothing seemed bright enough and I knew I could not live in dark and dreary the way I was feeling, so after a few intense days we put that search on the back burner again.
Morgan’s friends were stopping by and I was able to spend a lot of time with them. It was so wonderful to see them all and they were a huge comfort. I know we were all in some stage of denial and disbelief. That feeling seemed like it might soften with time, but there was no danger of it going away.
Every piece of electronics that had been there for our use in trying to catch the stalker was stripped away and packed up. The Sheriff’s department had never reviewed the video cameras yet, and I still had things I wanted to see. Detective Rob had thought I just wanted to leave it with the Sheriffs department to be put in the evidence locker, but that was never the plan and I requested the DVR back. He said as soon as it was copied we could have it back.
I knew the stalker was still on there somewhere, caught on tape, waiting to be seen by someone who could sit for hours and review every camera angle, and while we still did not know what happened to Morgan, we would soon, and I wanted to be ready to search whatever we still had when that time came.
On a hunch, a meticulous search of the perimeter of the house was conducted. Not by the Sheriffs, but by family members. Anything out of place that could be of value was the target, just as things out of place in her room had been found this was an effort to add to that. The stalker might not be visiting with great regularity any longer, but perhaps something he had left behind was still here.
I thought it was a brilliant idea. Steve and I could circle the house a hundred times and see nothing new. I knew because we had tried. A few new sets of eyes could certainly not hurt. And it was not long before they had found something. Something that did not get there by itself and seemed strange to be sure. They wore latex gloves and picked the finds out of the tree and put them in individual bags. I called Rob and he said to put them in paper bags if we had them, and he would pick them up the next time over and put them into the evidence locker.
By the time they finished there was a row of zip lock bags all identified and placed in a few paper bags that were stapled closed. We hadn’t talked much about Morgan’s stalker lately and this activity started the conversation anew. It was more of a search for some little detail we had overlooked. New ideas about what to pursue that had not been so far.
The desire to catch this person was very strong, right there below the surface. What part, if any he had actually played in Morgan’s untimely death was still unknown. But the fact that he had made of living hell out of what became the last four months of her life was undeniable.
We talked a lot about the desire to stop him so he could not do this again. He was very good at what he had chosen to do with his life, and would undoubtedly just get better at it. It became very clear that evening that stopping this stalker from repeating this was a very important goal to us all.
Today is January 31, 2013 – The obvious point is about how important catching the stalker sooner rather than later is so important. There is a tendency that happened to us and I have also heard from so many others. The tendency seems to be that following a concerted initial effort to catch the stalker there is a period of trying to ignore the stalker as one of the methods to stop him. This is completely understandable and even seems logical at the time, but it is so very wrong.
Former detective and stalking expert Mark Wynn is dead on when he explains this as a move to minimize the stalking. The victim’s first goal is always going to be to make it stop. Mark explains that as you move to minimize, the stalker only moves to maximize. A catchy, simple phrase about stalking that is all too true.
Morgan’s stalking went on for four months, which may not sound long when compared to stalkings that go on for years and years. But over those four months it was impossible to be on a state of high alert every minute of every day. It was impossible for us, and I suggest it would be equally impossible for most others. Like running a marathon, at some point everyone has to stop.
Remember that bit of advice given to Steve from yet another stalking victim he met here in the valley. You have to be on guard 24 hours a day – 7 days a week and the stalker gets to pick and choose his four, five, six or even ten little moments of terror to throw at you. The sentinels at the castles always rotated to stay fresh and alert, and so must you. No one person can expect to catch their stalker by themselves. They must have help, and lots of it. When I think about it now, without good detection electronics, it would take at least six or seven people to have a decent chance against one stalker -really.
Since most people are not going to have this level of support, there is an encouraging thing I am watching work more and more often…wildlife cameras. There is a police department in Colorado that has a bunch of WiFi enabled wildlife cameras they deploy at stalking victims homes, and they are making a difference. The best image of Morgan’s stalker came from a wildlife camera, and yes it is another one of those ideas I am chasing. This may not be one perfect answer, but the more tools at our disposal to fight back with, the less chance the stalker has to be successful.
And doesn’t that sound nice?