Roger Ellison was reportedly seen on the Pash property on several occasions prior to his disappearance on the morning of February 10, 1981. What happened after that is unknown. Cops dug up the backyard and no human remains were found. Could they have missed something, or was Roger buried in the crawl space underneath the house? Research indicates that killers sometimes use crawl spaces to dispose of bodies. Case in point: Serial killer John Wayne Gacy murdered 33 young men and boys burying most of their bodies in the crawl space beneath his suburban Chicago home, and more recently the body of a college student from West Virginia was found in a crawl space at an apartment building where she lived.
I drove to the former Pash house one Saturday afternoon in search of answers. Upon my arrival, the first thing I noticed was the front entrance facing east. It ran parallel to Highway 65, a somewhat busy two lane highway even back then, and the only main road leading in and out of town. The driveway entrance also faced east with access to the property off of Highway 65. Suppose a murder had been committed. There would have been limited opportunity to carry out the crime and dispose of the body through the front entrance during daylight hours without being seen.
I walked up to the front door and knocked. An elderly gentleman answered the door and invited me in. As it turned out, he was well aware of the Roger Ellison investigation because he was the county coroner the year Roger disappeared.
For the next two hours, the homeowner took me through the house which was being renovated and showed me every nook and cranny, including the basement crawl space. While replacing the floor joists in the kitchen and bath area on the north side of the house a few years back, the homeowner said he saw a depression of what looked like the body of a teenager in a fetal position in the dirt below the floor in the crawl space. He called investigators who returned to the house and excavated the crawl space. No human remains were reportedly found.
Stairs leading into the basement.
Basement crawl space searched by police for the remains of Roger Ellison who disappeared on February 10, 1981.
A north facing window that has been boarded up and closed off.
A second floor sun porch window with views of the south entrance at Cedaredge High School.
While interviewing the homeowner, I discovered one more place of interest on the former Pash property that hasn’t been searched. I am following up on that lead and will post more information as it becomes available. For a detailed cold case timeline, check out “Inside A Reporter’s Notebook.” Share your views on my blog or click on the Contact page to send me an email.
Coming up: Suicide versus homicide, you decide