— The views of this blog are personal opinion although much research has been done on the topic in as unbiased a position as can be possible. These views are not particularly those of CBS, the Morgan Ingram Foundation, including its subsidiaries and/or likenesses, Truth for Morgan, or Morgan’s Stalking. —
There is a story circulating around the Internet and blowing up the blogosphere surrounding the mysterious death of a young woman from Colorado. Found unresponsive in her bedroom at around 6 in the morning December 2nd, 2011, Morgan Ingram’s sudden, unexpected death blindsided all who loved and knew her. The death was ruled natural at first due to acute intermittent porphyria but was then revised to suicide by amitriptyline intoxication as well as high traces of its naturally occurring synthesis. Her mother, Toni Ingram, thinks her daughter was murdered – that her murderers incapacitated and then either injected copious amounts of amitriptyline within a cocktail of “date-rape” drugs, three of which she was actually prescribed (amitriptyline, propranolol and gabapentin) and one that is fairly easy to obtain, cyclobenzaprine (Flexeril) or made her swallow dozens of pills until she expired. She has set up a blog chronicling her daughter’s alleged stalking in the months leading up to her death and goes so far as to unfairly name her teenage neighbor and boyfriend of committing the heinous deed without any evidence better than an image of someone walking by the house. The family called the sheriff’s office nearly 50 times in a period of four months to report banging on windows and other incidences that allegedly terrorized their daughter. To me, her tone sounds way too excited to be that of a grieving mother. I advocate that everyone grieves differently but she sounds genuinely joyful to the point of inappropriateness. You can literally spend hours and hours reading her blog and come to your own conclusion here: http://morganingram.com/wordpress/
You’re welcome as well to compare her mother’s views with police reports, toxicology reports, the autopsy, and other imperative information at Truth for Morgan, here: http://truthformorgan.wordpress.com/
Besides the history of stalking, Toni Ingram states on her blog that the fact that Dr. Kurtzman, the coroner of Garfield County, Colorado, who performed the original autopsy, reported seeing no pills or pill fragments in the gastric juices is indicative of a homicide. I believe it is an insignificant fact since amitriptyline is freely soluble in water and the presence of its analog noretriptyline indicates the breakdown of the original molecule within minutes to hours of ingestion. The postmortem blood level of amitriptyline at the time of Morgan’s autopsy revealed a concentration of amitriptyline in the range of 2287440 ng/mL (about 18 25mg pills) and 2833 ng/mL of nortriptyline. A fatal dosage of amitriptyline blood concentration averages out at 3.7mg/L. A 175 ng/mL concentration of cyclobenzaprine (commonly known as Flexeril, a skeletal muscle relaxant) was also found in the gastric juice sample, as well as Nicotine. According to the overseeing toxicologist, the amount of amitriptyline consumed alone is consistent with intoxication from an overdose, accidental or deliberate. These numbers were obtained from AIT Laboratories, in Indianapolis. The autopsy indicates “There is no evidence of a struggle or evidence to indicate that the decedent was physically forced to ingest amitriptyline (truthformorgan.com).” Dr. Kurtzman, the forensic pathologist who performed the initial autopsy also noted a “marked pulmonary edema,” – fluid build-up in the lungs. This could have resulted from a wide range of scenarios, including aspiration from forcing someone to drink the crushed pills dissolved in water.
What do I believe? After following this story since August 2012 through Toni Ingram’s blog, various news outlets, specifically CBS, and several forums, I believe that Morgan accidently took too much medication in an attempt to sleep (her mother did admit she was stressed and couldn’t sleep because of the ‘stalker’). Her friends and family insist that Morgan was not suicidal and that she was happy the last time they had seen her alive. I want to express that suicidal ideation is difficult to detect. If it were easy, there’d be a lot fewer suicides. It isn’t unusual for someone who is suicidal to express happiness, act elated, or make plans before they act. Oftentimes, these contrasting outward appearances are consistent with relief in finding a permanent solution to temporary pain. If Morgan were depressed or anxious, maybe she didn’t want to “burden” others with her feelings. Morgan did possess some suicide ‘risk factors’ in the years and months preceding her death, including, but not limited to: chronic physical illness including chronic abdominal pain and headaches, insomnia, stress, disengaging from activities she normally enjoyed, and academic, occupational, and social pressures such as dropping classes from CMC Boulder and a desire not to fulfill babysitting responsibilities, according to her father in the police report from that day. And if there really was a stalker, then the decision to take her own life may have been associated with such a severe relentless crisis that she may have viewed to worsen over time. She may have felt hopeless. Despite our intimacy with the individual, we may never know for sure – we are simply not in their head.
Through my research on this case, I also noted that some people go so far as to say her mother may have been suffering from Munchausen by proxy, a form of medical child abuse involving the gross exaggeration or fabrication of illnesses or symptoms by a primary caretaker. Was Morgan’s mother slowly poisoning her daughter’s food and water with her previously prescribed medication amitriptyline, a tricyclic antidepressants used to balance the chemical mood? Maybe she threw a Flexeril in here and there to throw her daughter off what could have been a familiar feeling to the antidepressant, and it slowly built up in her system over time. The night before Morgan was found dead, the two had gotten into a verbal altercation escalating to Morgan calling her mother a bitch, according to police reports. Maybe Toni accidently went too far that night, gave her a little too much medication crushed into her water bottle causing Morgan to ultimately expire in her sleep. Toni admits herself in her blog that Morgan drank something bad and funny tasting one night months before her death. Why would she mention this if she didn’t feel a tad bit of guilt? Morgan, according to her blog, always kept her water bottle close by. Unless she was in the comfort of her own home, how did the bottle get out of her sight long enough for someone to slip something in it?
I also noted while reading Toni’s blog that acute carbon monoxide levels poisoned her daughter in the past. This is poisoning by negligence in my opinion. Where were the carbon monoxide detectors when Morgan was a child and being exposed to it? In most areas the installation of smoke/carbon monoxide detectors, even if it is a model just sophisticated enough to meet the minimum requirements, is standard. Especially in a rented house, I’m sure Colorado is not that different from other state’s fire codes that require all rentals to have smoke/carbon monoxide detectors. A landlord or local fire department must, by law, require all rentals to have them, either for free or at a cheap rate. In fact, according to Denver’s official city website: “Colorado’s new law concerning carbon monoxide alarms was signed by Governor Ritter on March 24, 2009 and applies to sales, rentals and remodels of single family and multi-family residences on and after July 1, 2009. The definition of “multi-family dwelling” in the new law specifically includes condominiums, and therefore, subject to certain limitations, would apply to units in condominium associations (ttp://www.denvergov.org/NewColoradoCarbonMonoxideLaw/tabid/436157/Default.aspx).” A mother who cared about her daughter’s health and safety would have made fire and carbon monoxide prevention a priority long before a formal law was passed. Did Toni turn them off? Why were Morgan and her bedroom the only person and room in the house affected? Why not anyone else?
Morgan turned 20 the year she died. An adult, the last to leave the nest. Her mother bought her a dog, an Australian Shepherd, a move that indicates to a fellow dog-lover such as myself, that her parents planned on her living at the home or with them long-term. It’s hard enough to find good cheap housing these days – much less one that’ll also allow your medium-to-large sized, high-energy dog rent with you.
Just to entertain the thought, if Toni suspected early on that her neighbors were harassing her daughter, as she and her husband indicate on the Dr. Phil Show: “She was murdered and we believe we know 100 percent who is responsible. I absolutely know who killed my daughter. Morgan was murdered by a young girl down the street, Brooke, and her ex-boyfriend,” then why didn’t she simply walk over to their place three houses down, inform the girl’s parents, and tell them to stop or she’ll be forced to take legal action? Why all the drama instead? Where are the parent’s priorities? In this day and age, especially, of cyber bullying, it isn’t that inane a request. The parents also had the police come to the house nearly 50 times in 4 months, set up expensive wildlife equipment all over the premises, and even went so far as to buy a thermal imaging scope, so they weren’t shy about taking intense measures. I don’t want to be crass, but I think Bigfoot hunters have more physical and visual evidence of the cryptic Sasquatch than Toni and Steve Ingram have of their alleged stalkers, who are not sophisticatedly trained assassinations – they were merely teenagers at the time. The same mother that advocates sitting behind her computer and pointing fingers should also have been bold enough to stand up for her daughter WHILE she was being harassed.
These are just my thoughts. If anything, I hope the poor girl didn’t suffer, but biological forensics is not on her side. The danger in all drug overdoses is that the brain may not get enough oxygen, vomit may block off the airway to the lungs, and the heart may seize preventing blood flow of oxygen to and from the brain. It only takes up to five minutes in anaerobic conditions to do permanent, irreparable damage to the brain. Because they affect the nervous system, psychiatric drugs have many side effects. Overdose can accelerate these side effects in any part of the body.
Did Morgan commit suicide or was she murdered? We may never know for sure – the Garfield County Sheriff has closed the case and stated he will never reopen it: http://denver.cbslocal.com/2012/09/07/parents-say-daughter-was-murdered-want-investigation-reopened/
My opinion? I don’t think she was murdered. There’s no evidence of that. But, I do believe that the case should be re-opened and investigations commence to give her mother and family the closure they need, give Morgan the justice she deserves, and clear the accused’s name. Morgan and her family have a right to question, and for the accused, I know I would want to clear my daughter’s good name if it were my daughter.
Yesterday was the one-year anniversary of Morgan Ingram’s death. Her mother’s blog entry asked for everyone to take a moment and light a candle to honor her memory. Suicide, accidental overdose, or murder, I will light a candle in remembrance of all those who suffer, whose lives are that much harder due to injustice, whether mental or physical.