Morgan goes to the bank to make a deposit this morning for Steve. I text her to let her know that I was able to speak with the mother of a witness the detective wanted to talk to – Morgan sends me a text back, “You rock!” She then goes to her dad’s shop to help pack up his office. When Steve and Nathan go back to the shop after lunch, Morgan goes to take a shower. She has invites for the afternoon, but instead she has decided to help a friend find a job. If he does not find job he will have to go back to Denver, and Morgan knows that will be bad for him. He has worked hard to get where he is right now, and slipping back into old surroundings could create a great pressure on him to not maintain what he has accomplished.
She gets out of the shower and goes to her room. She has the music playing, while she puts on make-up, does her hair, and dresses at her leisure. I take a break from work and go into her room to chat while she is getting ready. We talk about the Etsy dragonfly ID tag she found online, and wanted to purchase for Wylah – I told her I could just order it when I sit back down to work at my computer. Morgan said she didn’t have enough money yet, and would have to wait until after her babysitting job over the weekend. I asked her how much it was, and told her I would just order it, and she could pay me back. It was really nice to see her so bubbly, and actually putting on make-up and curling her hair, which she normally only did if she was going out somewhere special in the evening. At 1:41 pm she walks out to the car with a freshly laundered shirt for her friend’s job interviews and hangs it up in the back of the car. She goes and picks him up. He is worried about his interviews, and Morgan calls him (on his cell) to encourage him at all their stops, while she waits in the car. I wouldn’t go so far as to say she walked him in, but it was really important to her that he had a job or a really good prospect all lined up today.
After Morgan’s murder we find out that on Facebook at 12:20 am, early this morning Hannah Hurlocker (Brooke Harris’ friend) updated her wall, “sowyy it sucks.” Then 37 minutes later she adds, “guess ima go then night” Her friend ? Likes this. At 1:04 am still confused by the urgency of the requests to drop everything and come get her Stephen Campbell says ”Well u seemed pissed when we talked Wats up??”
Brooke is not happy he has not figured this out yet, and at 3:43 pm she posts to Stephen Campbell, “why would you ask her that on facebook? On her wall, on a post that had nothing to do with that at all? You know how to get a hold of her.” It remains questionable what was really happening until certain parties involved are asked to give their input, then it is very upsetting, and obvious to me.
I had an arrangement with Morgan that she would be home or call me within two hours after she left, so I could run some errands with her. Nothing super important, but it always seems like if I don’t get through my list for the day I end up wishing the next day that I had, and since we were sharing a car we had to coordinate.
At 4:00 pm I still have not heard from Morgan, but I had just gone out to the garage to organize and drag out empty bins for the move. By 4:30 pm it has been three hours and Morgan is a 1/2 hour late contacting me. I text her to call me, she is still calling her friend regularly, probably still giving encouragement with each new interview.
Our neighborhood Lhasa’s are getting their evening walk up the street toward Brooke’s house at 4:29:30 pm and they look very happy. By 4:48 pm I am getting anxious, In reality she is still helping her friend find the all important job, but I do not know this, only that she is not contacting me back, at least to tell me all is well. I am worried & upset. Especially with all of the new unknowns that have been thrust into her stalking this week. Detective Glassmire told me 2 days ago that he think her stalking is going to escalate, there will be increased patrols, searching in new places. And we didn’t even know about the very disturbing chatter going on on Facebook at that time.
Morgan gets a text from Nathan off Steve’s phone, “Hey it’s Nathan. Just leaving Aspen just so ya know. I’m gonna get dropped off in c’dale.” She does not answer, and her friend Calder tries three times to contact her before 6:00 pm. Also, without an answer.
Steve is home and tells me we should go get something for dinner – I am incredulous for an instant, then I calm down – he feels like Mexican food, and a little grocery shopping after for some of Morgan’s favorites like pomegranates. During Morgan’s mystery sickness, years ago, which turned out to be chronic carbon monoxide exposure, Steve had this mental list of all the foods that would cheer her up. And it would always work. He thought she was looking just a little too tired and run down right now, and he wanted to get some of her favorites. I went with him to the grocery store after dinner for that reason only. Before we leave for dinner, and the grocery store, I lock the dogs up, which I normally do not do, but Morgan’s puppy Wylah had just chewed up a stuffed animal, and I had to clean up all the stuffing that she dispensed throughout the house.
On the way to the restaurant Steve texted Morgan, “Hi Morgan we are going out to dinner in Carbondale are you interested in joking us?” He really meant, joining, but you know these “smart” phones. Just as I was telling him that he knew that Morgan had not answered me for hours, and I was really getting worried, his phone did that incoming text sound. He glanced at the screen, smiled, and then handed it to me. I said, “oh sure she answers you”, and I didn’t know if I should feel relieved or frustrated. His message from Morgan was, “Gah! I’m sorry. My phone’s little button got switched so my ringer was off. I’m just hanging out with Danny, but I’ll see you guys after?”
Just like that it was no big deal. Steve wondered if we could just have a nice dinner now, and I told him sure. Morgan started answering her other friends that she was just hanging out right now. Steve told her, “Ok we will text you when we get home and then meet you there.” And she answered him, “K.” I was officially relieved. We talked about our move and of all the other things going on in the world Steve wanted to set up Christmas in the new place so it would be there as we moved in, he thought it would be different, a little extra bit of happy in the midst of carrying, and unloading, and stressing and straining. I told him I would think about it.
After dinner we shopped for a few things at the grocery store, and went home. Rhonda, our next door neighbor, had just driven up, before Steve and I did. We unloaded, and were deciding which room to pack first. Morgan was still with her friend, watching a movie.
7:32:17 PM Nicole sent Morgan an important text – “Lady! We need to talk about breckenridge and get it all figured out!” They were leaving before noon tomorrow to babysit for the military returning from war and allowing them to have a retreat with their spouses. There is a group of children that loved Morgan, and two-year-olds are asking for her by name. She either does not see this text or decides to wait to answer Nicole, because it is not immediate.
A person who will remain secret for some time, comes home. Morgan asks if she could spend the night at their house. This person thinks for a moment about inviting Morgan, but then decides that day has been too tough, she has a headache and decides to have her sleep over some other night. I have spoken with this person, she has felt horribly guilty that that one decision to send Morgan home for the night, sent to her ultimate death. No matter how much I try to convince her this is not true, I have not yet succeeded.
I suddenly realize that I was supposed to text Morgan when we were headed home and have completely forgotten. I sent her a text at 7:48:57 pm that we are done shopping and headed home. I go into her room and turn on her light and let Wylah into her room, she jumps on the bed and lies down, and it’s exactly 8:09 pm.
Right after I turn Morgan’s bedroom light off there is a bang on her window. Reviewing cameras later we can see the big motion lights goes on at the same time. Nothing obvious is seen on video, but then whatever whacked the glass, and set off the motion detector was out there. At that time we didn’t know we should have been looking up.
At 8:30 pm Morgan is in the car alone, driving home. She has made plans to go back out with her friend in the morning to go out to breakfast and return applications that will be filled out by then. Morgan is confident a job can be had before her friend will have to return to Denver.
Morgan pulls off into the Catherine’s store parking lot at 8:36:38 pm and answers her text from Nicole about babysitting on the weekend, “F… I know. I haven’t talked to Amy. I have no idea what’s going on.”
She meets her friends Nathan and Calder just after 8:40 pm and talks about the day. While she is talking to Calder, Nathan borrows her phone to contact someone. He reads the texts, and then sends a text to Joey, “Sorry man. Haven’t been near the phone for awhile. And whatever works for you man. I don’t care either way. The fact that you remembered this long is enough. You can forget about it. Just make sure you come chill soon. :)”
She leaves and the two friend’s recollection of Morgan during that short time is completely opposite from each other. Which is completely normal, Calder always seems enamored with Morgan and always loves to spend time with her, although now we now know he was a part of her terroization. Nathan is concerned more about who she was with today and what is going on, because he still cares about her and would like to be together again. She does not want to talk about it and this causes awkwardness. I found out later from Nathan that Morgan had asked him to come home with her and sleep over again so she would feel safer, but this night he said no. Morgan hops in the car and heads for home. Once again I am worried about Morgan and ask Steve to see if she is on her way home yet. He texts her at 8:54:47 pm and asks if everything is OK?
Morgan does not answer, because she is driving and can not text. She drives up into the driveway 9 minutes later. She goes through her normal routine in the car, and I am waiting for her on the porch, after I hear the driveway alarm go off. As she opens the car door I begin to tell her how upset I am that earlier she did not answer calls or texts. I remind her about her stalker, and how much I worry about her. She does not answer and mumbles an unsavory comment as she walks by me. Our eyes meet for a second, and I decide she is tired and OK. I stand in the foyer and watch her go into her room. I then go to her bedroom door and knock she says, “Go away I’m tired.” So I head down the hall to my bedroom on the other end of the house.
Tessi was lying in the entryway close to Morgan’s door, just staring at the front door, as if just waiting and guarding. She looks over at me, and I tell her let’s go to bed. We usually left Tessi loose during the stalking so she could wander the house all night in order to warn us if someone ever got in the house. Steve did not want her loose that night because he thought she might bark and wake everyone up because of the increased patrols. We were all so exhausted from lack of sleep. She paddles down the hall behind me and when I get into our room I ask Steve if he will talk to Morgan. He asks if she is upset, and I say she might be. Steve says he will wait ten minutes just in case. No matter how mad we make Morgan, it never lasts more than ten minutes. I already know that in the morning she will apologize for what she said and explain what happened tonight, it will all make perfect sense, and it will be behind us. It has happened like that on so many mornings, it is safe for me to say it has never failed. I used to always tell Morgan, “You don’t have to apologize – heck your brother and sister never did when they got mad at me,” but Morgan was different and if she snapped at someone and didn’t think it was justified she would always apologize – she said everyone should always speak how they feel, and then they never have to feel bad later, so apologies were good.
I turned off the light and got into bed. Two minutes later the video camera records motion coming over the berm toward the house. We will not see it for some time – not until months after Morgan’s murder.
Steve has counted his imaginary time for Morgan to be happy, and he gets out of bed. Morgie can get upset, but she never stays upset. A good Zen Buddhist would never let their anger control them – and that was Morgan’s personality.
Steve walks to Morgan’s room and knocks, she answers. Tessi has followed him back out of our room again and stations herself by the front door. Steve asks Morgan if he can come in and she says of course. He sees that she is on her phone texting, and he offers to come back later. Morgan presses send for the last time on her phone, and announces, “Nope, all done for the night.” She was lying across the bed in her jammies on her stomach, and propped up on her elbows. Her legs were folded at the knees and her ankles are crossed, gently moving back and forth. She is smiling. And asks Steve what’s up? They both know why he is there, because she had a moment of anger, and he wants to ask her about it. This is something Steve and Morgan have done since she was a little girl. She’s twenty now and if you ask her she will admit it is something they have always done, but she will also never call her daddy to come in to cheer her up, he just always has good timing. Tonight she does not need any cheering up. Steve and her talk about developments in her life, how some friends of hers are doing better, and some just need a little more time.
Steve talks to her about oil painting. He has been so busy at work he has not had much time, but he wants to go in for another painting class, because he just got an email and the classes have started up again. Morgan says she would really like that. They talk about how her older sister really wants to make jewelry, and Morgan reminds him they are supposed to get a metal clay kiln for Christmas, and they can all use it.
Morgan is concerned about babysitting because she is afraid she is contagious (she has been coughing a little), and she does not want to get all of the children sick, but she does not know if they can get a replacement for her on such short notice.
Steve tells her that she should wait until morning, she is getting to sleep early and maybe she will feel much better in the morning. He remarks that she already looks much better since Monday morning, and if she had not he would have never let her come to the shop and pack bins for him.
Steve confessed that he wished he could run faster and he could catch this guy, and it could be over. He is choked up, because defending his family is a huge thing for Steve. Morgan tells him it’s OK, and I love you daddy. He tells her how much he loves her and says goodnight. This was the last time he would ever speak with her – he just didn’t know it at the time. Now I can go over things in my mind, and realize there were signs that something might be wrong…Tessi didn’t want to stay in our bedroom, she wanted to stay in the entry staring at the front door, and Steve had to drag her to our room, and close the door. I always left the bedroom door open, just in case, so Tessi could patrol the house if she needed to, but we were all so tired Steve put her in our room, and closed the door. Next mistake we made, part of the “perfect storm” that night was that Steve thought we should both have a good nights sleep so we both took sleeping pills that night – I usually did not, because I never wanted to miss any unusual sounds, or Morgan trying to send me a text or if she had to push her panic button (although that sound was loud enough to wake us up), but this night I agreed and did took a whole pill.
At 9:52 pm Matt across the street comes home, and right behind him is a car, and I think I know the occupants, but am not sure so I won’t say. And a few minutes later Brooke’s friend, Hannah Hurlocker, is on her Facebook wall again, this time adding, “Some people are like slinkys. Pointless but amusing to watch when you kick them down the stairs. ?”
At 11:56 pm the 1st of December is just about over and the Great Room video camera catches something moving behind Rhonda’s pine tree. But we are all fast asleep by now.