The truck that Morgan should have had on scene the morning her body was found, the Colorado Bureau of Investigation, not a Hearst.
Morgan’s murder wasn’t really thought to be a murder at all, not on that first day, it was explained to us by the Sheriffs detective as clearly a mystery. There were many things accepted as facts that morning as they came rolling out, first we were told there was no connection to her stalking – none at all, this took minutes for the detective to determine this fact, so you would assume there was great evidence to support this conclusion, and we trusted and believed we were being told the truth at that time. We were experiencing shock and horror at that very moment and could not wrap our heads around anything. Next we were told there was no sign of forced entry, no sign of sexual assault, no sign of a struggle, and no sign of suicide. I can remember those words whistling through my ears, and the foreign reassurance they brought with them, but I can’t help but wonder how could they have known those things at that time without any investigation? Why did they not collect any forensic evidence that very morning?
But then, if you had been Morgan’s mother for twenty years, there were things you would know, things deep within your heart, things akin to all the mother/daughter attachments Morgan and I had always shared over her lifetime. What was being shared with me that morning about Morgan’s death seemed attached to strange external forces, things beyond any of our control, and not by any means logical or intuitive…just strange, for lack of a better word.
While so much of that day was clouded within the grief of the moment, at the same time I remember some things very vividly as they transpired throughout that day. As in the detective from Garfield County, Robert Glassmire telling me that they had scanned the entire room and they had found no bodily fluids anywhere. I can still see myself responding immediately with disbelief, as I told him that Morgan had not yet washed her sheets this week, so there must have been something detected, she had a puppy, and a cat, and.…he assured me that there was nothing. Now I know why her sheets didn’t show anything – her sheets were gone! I am no investigator, but I would think that a detective being told that she hadn’t washed her sheets yet, knowing her sheets were missing just might think that something is wrong with this crime scene. Where were Morgan’s sheets? Who took them? They never showed up anywhere…unfortunately we didn’t realize they were gone at the time, because we were only focused on calling 911 and giving her CPR until the emergency responders showed up, we were trying to save her, and then we were told to leave our house. I never realized her sheets were gone until we received crime scene photos of her room almost 2 years later.
I vividly remember that her body seems posed to me. That was the worst feeling, that her body position was all wrong, so wrong. I told Detective Glassmire exactly how I found Morgan and how it looked all wrong, for reasons I can’t fully explain. I can tell you exactly where I was standing, and even the position I was facing when I told him. I will never question the strange feeling I had at the time, nor will I ever fully understand it.
There is always that saying you have all heard – having a child die is every parents worst nightmare. In the many days that followed after Morgan’s death, days that all melted together, and then the months that followed that day, Steve and I would meet someone from our little valley that had been at our house that morning. They would offer condolences, and they would also wonder, “How are you holding up?” Are you okay? They were parents too, and were shaken when they arrived on scene and found that Morgan was only 20 years old. Today, I would tell them that if I ever experience anything worse, which is not even remotely feasible to me, that I would be sure to tell them. But the ability to understand is something that comes with time, if ever. A long time, exactly how much time I am not sure, definitely different for everyone, but for me it did not come within months, and only now can I see that within years I am finally beginning to understand. All this time I thought I was being strong, asking questions, digging for answers, but in reality when I look back now I can see that my realization had been slowed by my complete and overwhelming grief. If it wasn’t for our amazing grief counselor I don’t know how Steve and I would have made it through the first two years after Morgan’s murder. And with the support and love from family, friends, and even strangers I was able to become stronger and stronger, but it still has taken such a long time.
Morgan’s room was still taped off as a crime scene when the Sheriffs all left, Steve and I would not be allowed back in there for days. Days later we were able to see her room again. Then it was years upon years later before we would know any of the answers to the many questions we had asked on the morning of her death. While there is so much I did not know that morning on December 2, 2011, there is so much I have very painfully learned over the months and years since. And there is one thing I knew that morning for sure – that my very dear and very beloved daughter was now gone from this earth, in a way that continues to become only more horrific to us as time passes, and we learn more details about how she died. This is the beginning of the story of Morgan’s murder…
So many have commented on what they perceive to be amazing strength to be doing what I am for my daughter, and I want to address that perception. I appreciate people telling me that, it is so very kind and I am grateful, but in reality I don’t perceive myself as being strong, I am hurting inside just like any other mother would be, and doing only what I think any other mother would do in my situation, because they love their child so much, and want truth, and justice to prevail. Morgan deserved so much better, and as lie after lie is exposed – what mother’s blood would not begin to boil? I am just a mother who still wants the truth to be told, and only the truth to be told about what has happened to Morgan, not the lies and misdirection that have played out since her death. It will happen one day, of that I am quite sure, and I will not rest until it does.
If you followed my blog about Morgan’s stalking you already know the Garfield County Sheriff’s department took over the investigation of her death, and pretty much have done whatever they pleased with the facts. Beyond that it is safe to assume that murder, and Morgan Ingram will never coexist for Sheriff Lou Vallario who stands between Morgan and justice. For Steve and I it has been quite a different path that has led us to today. We have questioned what happened, and asked for answers from those most qualified to give them.
As the truth never changes, there are some truths about that day in 2011 that did not become known to us until much, much later. Keenan Vanginkel, only days before Morgan’s murder was determined by Sheriff Detective Glassmire to be 100% guilty of Morgan’s stalking. His work hours show that he clocked in at his job at 2:00 am the morning Morgan was killed, even more interesting is the fact that he clocked out for a break at 6:37am that same morning, this time may be significant as it was minutes after the ambulance carrying the first responders entered our driveway in a futile attempt to save Morgan. This time clock also uses some biometric feature to insure that the represented person is the person who clocked in. I have been assured of this by the security person that works for his employer. So hypothetically, if Brooke were to see the myriad of flashing lights three houses down the street from her house (she lived only 3 houses down from us) and called Keenan, he might clock out and go outside, well that much is not fact, but conjecture on my part. I do know Brooke’s dad James called and left a message for his client that he could not make their meeting that morning because the sheriffs had put crime scene tape around his neighbors house, a house that had a girl that had been stalked, a stalker that the police thought was him at first but now they know it is his daughter’s ex-boyfriend and he has to stay home and monitor the situation and protect his daughter…I thought this was powerful when I heard about it, I told Detective Glassmire to speak with this client, the woman is the wife of a Pitkin County Sheriff, but Detective Glassmire could never seem to find the time to interview this witness.
Since that morning, in a constant way, my life has become a series of conjectures about what may have happened, and then a crusade to gather evidence that would support or dispel those theories. I’m told this is called an investigation. Something Morgan never had, for those of you who do not already know, Sheriff Lou Vallario went on TV to announce there would never be an investigation into Morgan’s death. That was on the day her death was reclassified from natural causes, to a suicide, eight months after she was originally said to have died of natural causes. You can bet that this assertion of natural causes and then suicide has been dug into deeply, and the facts I have to share are quite voluminous for just one blog, so I will only say this one thing below for now.
The Coroner decided, years after Morgan’s death, to release pictures to our family that were taken of the death scene the morning her body was discovered. Not being experts in any way, we decided that only a very select group of expert individuals should review these pictures. The first fact to come out was that Morgan’s body was moved after she had died. Moved postmortem! Please, someone explain to me how a person’s death goes from natural causes to suicide when their body was moved after they were already dead?
On top of that, do not even bring up the fact that I was threatened by the contracted forensic pathologist that if I kept asking questions, and having Morgan’s doctors contact him with medical facts different than what he believed to be true that he could revisit her manner of death, and could possibly arrive at accidental overdose or suicide. Which is exactly what he did months later after I did not “back off.” This is the contracted forensic pathologist that works closely with the Garfield County Sheriffs department, the same Sheriffs office that were told verbally and in writing about those threats, and yes the same Sheriffs department that would never open an investigation into Morgan’s death in case you are wondering. The same Sheriffs department who concluded within minutes, on the morning we found her body, that Morgan’s death had no connection to her stalking. These facts are completely separate and I wanted to bring them all out into the light of day so that others who might be in a similar situation can learn from our families experiences. I believe people in positions of trust should not be allowed to do these things. I am sure in most cases families are in such immense pain, and suffering that they can not even bring themselves to ask questions of the authorities, even though they can feel that there is something wrong with what they are being told. Revictimizing families is cruel and unjust and should not be allowed.
People say these things are only the shrill cry of a mother who can’t accept the truth – really? When a mother finds foul play in the fact that her daughter’s body has been moved after she died, and a Sheriff that says he will never open an investigation into what is possibly a homicide, is that perfectly normal in any death amid a stalking under suspicious circumstances? No wonder there is rarely ever a murder in Garfield County – for the previous six or seven years prior to Morgan’s death there were no murders, they want us to just ignore the pesky fact that bodies kept showing up. Just ignore it like Morgan’s stalking, ignore it all. Accidental deaths and suicide are the accepted manner of deaths, but can we believe what we are being told? I no longer do.
I guess Garfield County doesn’t want us to pay attention to a United States Congressman who states that every victim of stalking that he has heard about was murdered by their stalker. I guess Garfield County thinks it is acceptable for everyone to believe without question that Morgan’s death had absolutely no connection to her actual felony stalking at the time her body was discovered. The stalking that was feared to escalate days before her death. The stalking that had patrols of our house and our neighborhood increased in the days before her death. The stalking where she had positively identified her stalker and was scheduled to have a videotaped interview with the detectives in a few days, an interview that never took place, because she was killed. Specifically the stalking that supposedly had no connection to her murder. Morgan was scheduled to leave that same morning on a pre-planned babysitting assignment for the returning military heroes defending our country. These heroes that were going to a family retreat and recovering from their own ordeals…Morgan was stopped from going by her murderer.
And while it all seems and sounds to be so horribly wrong and completely dire, I would quickly like to say that while it has been all that and more for us and still is, there is something more to the story of Morgan’s murder, and that can’t be lost here. Steve and I have come to learn something that is very important. We have learned with so many that have come forward to help in the fight for justice for Morgan, that they are amazingly in this for the long haul. It portents solutions, and even healing for other victims as well, for the victims of stalking, as well as the victims of every other crime, including the families of the victims of capital crimes after their loved ones have been robbed of their most basic liberty – their life. With the support of these caring supporters victims can, and do recover. These victims need to be believed. They need someone to help them. Morgan would never have cared about herself over another. It has been without doubt the hardest lesson that Steve and I have been forced to learn since her tragic death. That she was far more understanding of the world than we were. That our daughter had lessons to teach us even after she died.
I will now leave you with this…as Morgan died, she managed to communicate more than I could even begin to understand. This story that I will now be writing about will be about death and murder, and all of the unpleasantries that go hand in hand. It will share most all, but never all the facts that I have come to know since her death. There will always be the facts that only Morgan’s murderer would have known. Hopefully that part can keep secreted away until it is needed. Until then, we all miss you Morgan…and I will never stop expecting that in the end you will have justice.