There is a fact that works against the innocent people of the Roaring Fork Valley. Endangers them all, without anyone even realizing it is taking place – every single day. I wanted to share this little secret with you, and assure you, the Garfield County Sheriffs Department has known about this for a long time.
I am going to explain something, and then you, like everyone else I have explained this to in person, you are going to pause, and say something like – No! That’s not right, is it?
Here goes – from Glenwood Springs, Colorado to, Aspen, Colorado it is 40 miles, less than an hour’s drive, even with some weather. Over those forty miles you will encounter 9 different law enforcement districts.
- Glenwood Springs Police Department
- Garfield County Sheriff’s Department
- Carbondale Police Department
- Garfield County Sheriff’s Department again, but I’ve only counted them once
- Eagle County Sheriff’s Department
- Basalt Police Department
- Pitkin County Sheriff’s Department
- Snowmass Village Police Department
- Pitkin County Sheriff’s Department again, only counted once
- Aspen Police Department
- Colorado State Patrol, patrolling the common thread of State Highway 82
Now would you think, for one second, that these 9 different agencies share their information on ongoing stalking incidents? Well. define share would be my answer, our detective told us he would have to call each agency individually, get the correct officer on the phone, wait for him to manually review records, then wait for an answer, AN AMOUNT OF TIME he simply did not have. So it was never done. Exactly how is this making our valley a safer place? We live in a world where if I wish to, I can share my current location on the face of the earth in real time with the rest of the world. If you even try to tell me how impossible it would be to share information about stalking incidents – well don’t even try, I know it can be done.
And then it gets worse, not only do they not share, they diffuse, whenever possible. Confusing at first I admit, so here is a recent example:
All of Morgan’s gold jewelry was missing the day her body was discovered. MISSING as in GONE, and in order for this to be “investigated“, I had to have a concise list of everything, pictures would be even better. So I made the list, gave it to our detective. Steve would not let me review 50,000 pictures of Morgan for any that showed her wearing her jewelry, he said it was far too emotional for me. I won’t share what he actually had to say about anyone who could have really requested this of me, but, trust me, it wasn’t complimentary.
So low and behold Keenan VenGInkel is arrested in Glenwood Springs just weeks after Morgan’s murder by the Glenwood Springs Police Department on a warrant stemming from a cache of gold jewelry he had recently sold at a, “Cash for Gold” store in Glenwood Springs.
And yes, it is true as has been reported, that when Keenan Vanginkel was pulled over in Glenwood Springs, for the sale of gold jewelry that had been stolen, he was handcuffed, and taken to jail, his car was then searched and illegal drugs, prepackaged for sale, were discovered, among other things. But that is for others to deal with.
Of course the detectives investigating Morgan’s Felony Stalking, and now death have no knowledge of this arrest for selling stolen jewelry, merely have the list of jewelry that is missing from Morgan that I have given them. I tell Steve what is happening, and he immediately visits a friend of his who also has a, “Cash for Gold” service. Steve asks him how it works, would there be records? And guess what, at Steve’s friend’s operation, they photograph every piece of jewelry and the person selling it, it’s a state law, all regulated. Steve’s friend looks at a picture of K, supplied by our Detective Rob. and does not recognize him.
Once Detective Rob finishes with apologizing for how they had no idea this had happened, explains again the no sharing situation, Steve shares with Detective Rob what he has already found out about Cash for Gold operations, but Rob is not familiar with the actual laws related to “Cash for Gold” and Detective Rob wonders if Steve can ask his friend for a copy of the laws. I swear this is the truth! And then Steve can not immediately get a hold of his friend, so he just goes online to Lexis Nexis Law and copies the Colorado laws for Detective Rob, and then emailed him everything he needed to know. Steve tells Detective Rob, we would like to see the pictures of all of the jewelry that was recovered on the long shot that we can identify any pieces that belonged to Morgan.
Detective Rob does not do this, he says, once again, the honest truth, “This would be the worst example of good police work, to just show you the pictures.” Steve hangs up and looks at me, “I wonder if the term – photo line up – has any meaning to him?” Detective Rob does nothing, but we are getting all too familiar with this disturbing trend by now.
– Just wait until I get the OK to release all of the potential evidence in Morgan’s case that was never followed up on, you will be sickened, I assure you…
So Steve immediately has another plan, he sends me to Glenwood Springs to talk with the arresting officer, to find out if he will show me the photos of the jewelry, and we can just put that issue to rest.
I’m sorry but, I think if the Sheriff’s prime suspect (who is no longer a suspect or they never had a suspect, forgive me I am getting a little confused here, Detective Rob needs to make up his mind) is arrested selling gold jewelry days after your daughter was murdered and all of her jewelry is missing on the same day, isn’t it a point that needs to be investigated? Or to quote Whoopie Goldberg, “Am I just missing something here?“
So I am in Glenwood Springs, and I ask about the arrest report at the Police Department, they “can’t find it” and send me to the District Attorney’s Office, who will certainly have it. They can’t seem to find it either, but they do think it’s a little strange, can’t find any records and all. But they made me fill out a form to include all my personal information, saying an Investigator will get in touch with me. I did fill out the paper and said to the woman, “But this is a public record isn’t it?” She told me yes it is but you have to fill this out anyway, before you can have it. But, they don’t even have it! And they never call me later to give it to me! So I go back to the Police Department, and now they are angry. I am told my Detective from the Sheriff’s department has to handle this and they can’t talk to me anymore. Have you ever had that feeling you have just been run in a complete circle for nothing? Well that is exactly how I felt right at that moment.
I know this ended up being a little long winded, but I did try to be as brief as possible, and do you see how I entered the “Combined Courts” building here to follow up on a crime I had reported, related to the death of my daughter (no official cause yet), and I received the royal run around, That is what I mean by diffuse. Everyone just diffused their responsibility on someone else, and the next person in line did the same. An endless circle, perpetual motion, only sadly, criminals are exchanging high fives right about now.
Then, I asked Detective Rob about Morgan’s jewelry again weeks after this day and he said, “I told Steve you have to give me pictures of them or at least a list.” Remember what my daughter-in-law said the other day about Steve and I keeping records, I might just have recorded on paper what I told him about the jewelry earlier!
Love you all, and in the spirit of Morgan, I wish only for solutions to this current system that lets criminals flourish, and innocent women die. It is just denial to ignore it or fashion some other name for it.