“Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” – Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr.
In King’s 1963 “Letter from a Birmingham Jail” he promoted non-violent civil disobedience and urgency in the Civil Rights advancement. His words are still true today when it comes to ANY injustice. I like to print his quote at the end of my emails to remind people of the importance to really care about our fellow human beings.
There has been an injustice done to our daughter Morgan. Morgan was a victim of a felony stalking for 4 months, she was found dead under “suspicious circumstances” (the sheriff’s words – not mine), and her body was taken away for an autopsy. That same morning her lead felony stalking detective told us her stalker had nothing to do with her death. He could not have known that at the time so why did he say it? The coroner’s office took her body away for an autopsy. While waiting for the results of her autopsy I truly believed the sheriffs were investigating her suspicious death. I asked what will happen if the autopsy shows she was murdered. I was told that if that happened another detective would be assigned to the case. So in the meantime unbeknownst to me there was no investigation into her suspicious death – why?
Then 18 days later the forensic pathologist stated Morgan died a “natural death” – I asked how could that be? Morgan was an extremely healthy 20 year old…a healthy 20 year old with a predatory stalker that was escalating his presence. So then at that time the sheriffs said there would be NO investigation into her “suspicious” death BECAUSE the Coroner had decided she died a “natural death.”
For the next 6 – 7 months forensic experts, along with Morgan’s doctors, tried to explain to the forensic pathologist that Morgan did not die a “natural” death. After reviewing her medical records, the postmortem report, all toxicology results, etc. they said Morgan died from foul play and suggested her case should be investigated. At that point the forensic pathologist threatened me that he did not want the opinions of any other experts and if he wanted to he could change her “manner of death” to suicide. Then 8 months after Morgan’s death the forensic pathologist for Garfield County along with the coroner did just that…they changed her manner of death to “suicide.”
Getting angry is fine who wouldn’t be outraged, but how do we really make changes to a system that is broken?
Cases, like Morgan’s, that are swept under the rug are caught in a kind of trap, a trap created because of the cracks in our legal system. Solving murder cases, when a coroner says the victim died from a natural death, accidental death, or suicide isn’t easy. In order to obtain justice you have to be your own investigator. You need to be methodical and spend as much time as you would on a 40 hour per week job. Unfortunately in some cases like ours the family is the only one left that can put all the evidence together in order to obtain justice…and if justice is not found all that means is that someone has gotten away with murder, and that will always be an injustice, not only to the victims, and the victim’s family, but it is an injustice to all.
Thank you for following Morgan’s story through this blog. I believe through knowledge and awareness of things that others are experiencing in this world people gain their strength. I promise you our family has not given up, and never will. It has been 3 long unimaginable years since Morgan’s suspicious death, and we have continued to gather and document all evidence in order to have her case investigated. Morgan deserves justice – all victims of violent crime deserve justice. Some people may not want her case opened…they do not want to visit the skeletons they have hidden in their closets, but soon the truth will come out and justice will be served.
I believe perseverance, as well as sheer tenacity will prevail, they will bring about positive results not only in Morgan’s case, but on so many other levels as well. Wish us luck – 2015 should be an amazing year to right some wrongs and bring justice to many people!