Roger’s last steps

Much of the police investigation on the Roger Ellison case has concentrated on the south exit at the old Cedaredge High School building. Cops believe Roger may have left the building through the double doors before vanishing without a trace on the morning of Tuesday, February 10, 1981.

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South exit at the old Cedaredge High School building. The class of 1981 was the last class to graduate from the school.

I recently visited the old high school, which is now a charter school, to retrace Roger’s last steps. My starting point was the school’s basement at locker No. 191 where Roger was last seen putting his books away while talking with friends.

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Roger’s locker, No. 191, in the school’s basement.

There are two sets of double doors before you exit the building to the south. The first set of double doors is inside the building in the basement before climbing the stairs. The second set of double doors is at the south entrance and leads outside into a gravel parking lot. 

There are two windows on the south side of the building. The larger window belongs to a walk-in supply closet. The smaller window may be a second supply closet window or a classroom window.  

In 1981, the downstairs housed the school library on the east side and classrooms on the west side separated by a hallway with lockers. Locker No. 191 was located on the west side somewhere in the middle.

Upon closer examination, I discovered a second interior door on the west side of the building just past the lockers and a classroom door. The secondary door belongs to a boiler room where coal is brought in to heat the building.

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Boiler room interior door is open on the right.                 Boiler room door leading to outside exit door.

Another interior door on the west wall opens to a set of stairs that lead to an exit door on the west side of the building. A bank of classroom windows overlooks the gravel parking lot to the west towards the football field.  

For the sake of argument, if Roger slipped out the secondary exit to the west instead of the south door, he would have had to cross a football field in full view of the classroom windows before coming to a paved street with a row of houses in a residential neighborhood.

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Southwest view of the building.

If he walked north, he would have encountered an elementary school.  

If he walked south, he would have been walking in the direction of the Pash home, a two story dwelling located next door to Cedaredge High School. In 1981, the home was owned by John Pash, a social studies teacher and wrestling coach. The two properties were separated by a rock wall about three feet high where students often hung out before school and between classes.  

If he walked east, Roger would have intersected with Highway 65, the only main road leading in and out of town. Across the busy highway was a bakery which was frequented by kids and locals.  

It is unknown which direction Roger went that morning, but there would have been numerous opportunities for him to be seen. Where were you on the morning of February 10, 1981? Did you see which door Roger exited from? Which direction did he walk? Did he walk to a nearby house? Did someone pick him up? Did he talk to anyone? Did you notice anything out of place that morning, for example, a stranger sitting in a parked vehicle?

Please come forward with any information. The smallest of details could provide new leads in the case. Post to my blog or click on my Contact page and send me an email. Check out the photo gallery for more photos of Cedaredge High School.

Coming up: a photo tour of the former Pash house, including a crawl space searched by police.

Lori

 

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