Thursday, July 5, 2007

Colorado woman geology student murdered while mapping

From the Denver Post:

Alyssa Heberton-Morimoto, a Masters student mapping for the Colorado Geological Survey, was murdered while waiting for her field partner to meet her for lunch.

I'm horrified. Yikes, that poor woman and her family. And her poor field partner, who heard the screams over her radio, and who hitched a ride with the murder suspect because her car keys were missing.

I've been in the habit of mapping in pairs - I've worked in grizzly country, and there are a lot of things that can happen alone and far from help. But most of them are things like sprained ankles and falls on steep slopes and, occasionally, bears or mountain lions. But murder. Yikes.

My male colleagues regularly do field work alone. I don't. And perhaps I'm wise, though significantly less productive.

(On the other hand... an acquaintance of mine was murdered, along with her female companion, on the Appalachian Trail more than 10 years ago. Two might not be enough for real strength in numbers.)


Anonymous said...

I spent a fair amount of doing lone field work back in the day, and I never once considered that something like that could happen. That just blows me away.

Kim said...

It's horrifying. I guess it's statistically unlikely - lone field work is more dangerous because of river crossings, or snakes, or rock chips in the eye, I suspect. But her poor family... and her poor advisor.

BrianR said...

that is really's events like that that really make me search for an answer to "why?"

was this guy mentally ill? it seems so random

Kim said...

He was apparently a convicted felon... he had murdered before.

Monado said...

Two together with dark belts in the hard martial arts, such as karate, plus a refresher in the dirty tricks department from a self-defence course or sensei, plus a change of attitude from "I don't want to seem rude" to "I'm going down fighting and you're getting marked" or "if it's him or me, it's going to be him."

Most places are always safe but no place is always safe. It was a rude awakening to me when a friend was "captured" by a man with a knife in a women's washroom at a university. She escaped only because someone was waiting for her and knocked on the door. \\Being old or young doesn't protect you, nor does being in a public place or a "sacred" place. Some men will use a hammer or crowbar to quiet down their victims. You have to be ready to fight to the death--and then put it aside for normal human interaction.

Seriously, I wish women would invest the time they spend jogging or in aerobics on a good martial art. Nothing is perfect, but it's one thing you don't have to get out - it's always with you.

Monado said...

Sorry, I meant to say, "Most places are usually safe but no place is always safe."