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Can you help solve a 30-year-old cold case?

The year was 1981.

The Cedaredge High School senior class motto was “If you can imagine it, you can achieve it. If you can dream it, you can become it.” The wrestling team was named District Champs. It was the last year of the Cubs and the last time anyone saw Roger Ellison alive.

Roger boarded a school bus on February 10, 1981 that took him to Cedaredge High School in western Colorado at the foot of Grand Mesa National Forest. He got off the bus and walked south to his locker, No. 191 in the school’s basement, where he talked with friends while putting his books away.

He didn’t attend classes that day and vanished without a trace.

Roger’s case is classified as a non family abduction. He was 17 years old at the time of his disappearance. His age today would be 47. He’s 5’ll” tall and weighs 145 pounds. He has blue eyes and blond hair. He was last seen wearing a light blue parka, blue jeans and brown leather ankle top boots.

In 2005, Delta County Sheriff Fred McKee told the Delta County Independent newspaper that he believes Roger was killed shortly after his disappearance. His body has never been found. McKee said he believes they’ve talked to people who know what happened, but theorizes that some of the witnesses are reluctant to speak out due to their own involvement in illegal activity which may or may not be connected to Roger’s disappearance.

Even though it’s been 30 years since Roger disappeared, it’s not too late to come forward with information that could crack the case. Contact the Delta County Sheriff’s Office at 970.874.2000.


School groundbreaking slated for September


Former Cedaredge High School


Delta County school district officials are moving forward with plans to turn the old Cedaredge High School building into an elementary school.

A September groundbreaking is planned.

The renovation will be quite comprehensive, according to school district officials.

It will involve the older sections of the school as well as the addition of new classroom space.

The final design has not been made public.

The historic brick school building dates back to 1920. It was the former high school of Roger Ellison who vanished from the area on Tuesday, Feb. 10, 1981.  


Case to watch

Murder trial with a twist: there’s no body.

The case involves the 1995 disappearance of Kristina Sandoval who worked as a nurse at a Greeley, Colo., hospital. Co-workers reported that Sandoval arranged to meet her estranged husband to settle a debt. An eyewitness saw Sandoval leave the hospital after her 7:30 a.m. shift on the morning of October 19, 1995. A co-worker described Sandoval as nervous about the meeting and said she didn’t want to go, according to an arrest warrant affidavit – you can read the affidavit here:

Sandoval went missing and was never seen again. Her estranged husband is charged with her murder. The case goes to trial in Greeley on July 12.

Many people wrongly assume that a murder case can’t be prosecuted without a body. 

Thomas A. Dibiase, a former Washington D.C. Assistant United States Attorney, tracks ‘no body’ homicides. His website lists nearly 300 ‘no body’ murder trials in the United States, including that of Cindy Booth. The 14-year old girl disappeared from her Delta, Colo., home in 1993 while riding her bike. Eugene Marvin Smith was successfully prosecuted for Booth’s murder and sentenced to 48 years, according to Dibiase’s website. Delta County is the same county where Roger Ellison disappeared on Feb. 10, 1981.

Check out Dibiase’s website to read more about ‘no body’ investigative techniques and prosecution of cases at


For full coverage of the Sandoval murder case, click on the link:

Alleged victim comes forward in Ellison case

The following comments were posted to my blog on October 31, 2009:

Comment:  “I dont know if you were responsible for Roger Ellison’s disaperance,but I do know that you used your position of trust and psychology to manipulate certain students. (even if they were wanting to be a part of your life)  They trusted that you had their best interest in your thoughts and that they were special.  Isnt that what you wanted?  You took no heed that your actions   might have side effects.
People can use their knowledge for or against or for their own personal wants.  We all have things we need to ask forgiveness for and I do beleive you  have a consequence now or later.”

Comment:  “I was in 7th grade at the time Roger disapeared.  It impacted my older sibling, who was one of those teenagers meeting at Mr. Pash’s house.
 Who knew that 3 1/2 years later I would be a victim of his “so called” counseling.  Yes their was definitely drug use, drinking, and under age sex going on. I know because I was there.  He cannot deny it!
It took me a few years after it happened to realize what happened and that it wasnt my doing. I was just a kid with low self esteem and thats exactly the kind of kids he preyed upon.
Unfortunately highschools are filled with them. A great hunting ground for someone like Mr. Pash.
I am doing great now.  I have a lot of confidence and hardly give a thought to this predator any more.  A friend of mine told me about this web site so I had to take a look.
It does trouble me and always has that this predator still teaches and is probably still abusing his power.
I did talk to investigators years ago, but unfortunately it was to late to prosecute for what was done to me. Im always hoping someone whom it is currently happening to will have the courage to talk.”

Do you have a similar story to tell? Post your comments to my blog or click on the Contact link to send me an email. I don’t need your name just your information.    


Renovation may unearth new clues in Ellison disappearance

Cedaredge High School 1981 edited  

Cedaredge High School 1981


The old Cedaredge High School building is slated to undergo extensive renovation to make way for a new Cedaredge Elementary School. 

The project is expected to break ground next summer.

The $11.4 million gut job may provide new clues into Roger Ellison’s disappearance. Roger was last seen on Tuesday, Feb. 10, 1981, at his locker in the basement of the old high school.

His remains have never been found.

It’s not inconceivable to think his body could have been disposed of somewhere inside the old high school – if he was killed. One blog reader theorizes that Roger may have been buried in the crawl space under the school. An extensive chair tunnel with possible access to the crawl space is located underneath the gymnasium stairs.

Another reader suggests Roger’s body could have been disposed of in the coal boiler near his basement locker.

While there is no evidence to support either of these theories, finding Roger’s body could provide investigators with hot leads in an otherwise cold case.  

Do you think Roger’s skeletal remains are on school grounds? Post your thoughts to my blog or click on the Contact page to send in your tips.  


More from John Pash

The following post by John Pash appeared on Websleuths on Monday, August 31, 2009.


Hello sleuthies, I’m back

I must say I was rather surprised by what I see, and what I don’t see. I was expecting to see some caustic and virulent comments, but was pleased to see that type of reaction not rearing its ugly head. Obviously there are some thoughtful and rational people among you all. However, there are a couple of comments that I must respond to, and provide further insight.

Mazama: you asked if there were other “persons of interest” named. Well, first we must explore the concept of a “person of interest”. Rather than repeat what is already stated on the web, I would suggest reading the wikipedia entry for “person of interest” and its companion article on Richard Jewell. Bottom line, it has no legal definition, and can range from a possible suspect to a material witness [someone who may have additional information]. So, if the Sheriffs Department believed the rumor that I had counseled Roger for “issues”, then that designation would fall under the idea of being a material witness rather than a suspect. But it is interesting that the sleuthies immediately chose the suspect aspect of the definition, even though the material witness aspect would have been just as possible, and more appropriate. Secondly, that term was not used until 1996; so in 1981, no persons would have been named with that label. However it might explain why [as I stated in my earlier letter] I was contacted by a detective in 1997. But as I also stated, there was never any followup in regards to the detective coming out to talk to me. Third, I was never aware of 2 unidentified persons Roger was supposedly seen talking to that morning. That was news to me when I read it on these various websites. So I cannot say that it is anything more than another rumor. The explanation given for Roger’s disappearance was that he was a runaway. I have no idea when it was redesignated as an abduction. Finally, you asked who told me about this website. That is presently irrelevant to the discussion concerning Roger.

Lori [aka coldcase1]: on your own website, you asked if I would like to tell my side of the story. OK, that would be my previous letter. Whatever I felt was within the allowable bounds of my instructions from the detective, I described. Might I suggest that you request any further information from the detective in charge of Rogers case. Or, continue reading below.

Christine2448: you said one should attack the posts, but not the posters. This seems to be a variation of the old saying “don’t shoot the messenger”. However, the 2 ideas are not comparable. The reason you don’t shoot the messenger is because that person did not write the message. However, those who post comments are the authors of the comments, and as such, are responsible for its content. This is why people can be sued for libel. and freedom of speech is not an excusable defense.

Fairy1: You wonder about the person who brought down a well-developed forum. And then leave a last message that “it’s about him, not you”. I can’t say who took down the website for however many days, but I would have to assume that it was the people who are in control of this enterprise. As you may recall on the terms of agreement, they reserve the right to edit and/or delete any comments which are posted. The fact that there are several comments which have been deleted, and my letter has been edited by deleting references to those comments, would suggest they felt it was necessary. Therefore, they were finally providing their oversight responsibility. I don’t know how long those comments publicly existed, so it may be that they had been lax in that responsibility. No matter what, the fact that comments were deleted demonstrates that people who had left comments had crossed some line of propriety. This also refutes your statement that it’s about him [Roger I assume], and not you [I take it you mean me]. If that was truly the case, then it would not have been necessary to delete anything, and those comments would still exist. But such is not the case. Your mentality is very reminiscent of similar episodes in our history. One was known as McCarthyism. It was the belief that exposing communists was so important that it allowed people to accuse whomever they chose, for whatever reason, and were above reproach. But nothing gives license to say anything you want and not be accountable. I have never seen any statistics which can verify how many cases have been solved through these websites, but then I have never seen any statistics which shows how many innocent people have been disparaged and the impact it has had on their lives. If the populace is truly unfettered in comment, then we can devolve into another Salem Witch Hunt. You might benefit from also reading about Richard Jewell. It also reminds me of the Duke lacrosse team being accused of rape. And they were actually specified as suspects. Do you remember all the people who marched outside the college house they lived in, the signs they carried, the threats they made? And yet, when it was finally acknowledged that the rape accusation was false, did any of those same people march outside with a sign apologizing for their behavior and comments? No. Why not? Because they are above repraoch and on a path created by good intentions? As I stated in my earlier letter, we all know where that path leads. And this weekend, it has been reported about the girl who was abducted in 1991, and has been found. It has also been stated that her stepfather was specified as a suspect, and he had to live with that accusation all these years. Do you think any of the people who disparaged him have contacted him and apologized? I doubt it.

And finally:

silver1sb: the comments you have placed are rather puzzling to me. A person doesn’t have to be trained in psychology to raise these questions. According to other websites [Finding Roger Ellison and The Charley Project], it is the firm belief for both you and your brother that I am involved. And yet, you do not reply to the issues I raised. Your lack of reply is curious to say the least. That seems odd given how adamant the earlier statements were made to appear. But what is even more puzzling is your lack of comment concerning the assignment that I gave the detective. Wouldn’t it be normal to ask that I tell you [privately if necessary] what was written by Roger? Unless of course, you already know what was written. And I find it rather odd to think that the detective would keep such information from the siblings, especially after the passing of the parents. Plus the written comments made by Roger on that assignment, and what the detective learned, gives understanding to the comments posted by Chief79 concerning misinformation about his life, why things are never what they seem, and finally what Roger may have been looking for. So if this is truly about Roger, wouldn’t it behoove you to provide that information? It would give more insight into the case and his life. So please provide the public with the most accurate information possible. It may be invaluable in helping to understand the events, provide a direction that is more realistic, and solve this case quicker.

Well sleuthies, I am done. I will occassionally return to see how you all are doing. I hope to someday read that Roger was found and his life is going well. But keep in mind, this is not a game. Yes, the missing person is the focus, but when you start publicly pointing a finger at someone, that person becomes a focus, and the posting of any rumors can have a substantial impact on that person. That too is a micarriage of justice. And if you are all about justice as you claim, then I would think you would be extra diligent before posting comments. You do not get “brownie points”, gain weapons, nor move to the next level for such rumors. Finally, you are not above reproach. This type of forum tends to be participated in by like-minded people which creates a mindset known as “groupthink” [I have actually been able to learn some things myself in teaching psychology]. What this does is eliminate critical evaluation which may be necessary. True believers cannot abide with any questions which raise the possibility that they may be wrong, or excessive, in their approach. So once again I must say, no matter how well-intentioned your goals may be [and I do believe such forums are necessary], it does not excuse one’s statements, nor actions.


Post your thoughts to my blog. -– Lori