UPDATE: Human remains found in Lee; believed to be Meghan Marohn, missing NY school teacher
LEE — A prominent writer who knows Meghan Marohn wrote this month she had told friends a man had been harassing and stalking her, driving her to flee to the Berkshires after taking a leave of absence from work.
But police and other officials are not responding publicly to questions about this possibility, raised in a piece by Chris Hedges, a commentator, writer and former journalist.
The piece was published July 1 by Sheerpost, a progressive blog.
“A few days before Meghan Marohn, a 42-year-old English teacher at Shaker High School in Latham, N.Y., disappeared, she confided to friends that she had gone into hiding to escape from a man who had ‘brutally harassed and intimidated me because I wouldn’t sleep with him,’” Hedges wrote. “She said she was too afraid to stay at home, especially when she saw him drive by her house. She was granted a leave from teaching and camped out at The Red Lion Inn in Stockbridge.”
When asked about this, Lee Police Chief Craig DeSantis said he would not speculate and reiterated that his department along with State Police and the Berkshire District Attorney’s Office is pursuing every lead.
“This is not on the back burner — it’s still an active investigation,” DeSantis said. “Our goal remains and is still to resolve this and find Meghan.”
Investigators continue to expand the search outward beyond the area of the South Lee trailhead off Church Street where her car was found in late March, he said. This includes a search along the Housatonic River corridor from Lee and into Stockbridge, “and Glendale at some point” traveling on kayaks, and using side-scan sonar and underwater cameras.
“It’s not related to any specific information, it’s just to be very thorough,” DeSantis said of the river search.
The Berkshire DA’s Office referred questions about what Hedges reported to the Lee police.
The FBI in May declined to comment on whether it was involved in what is considered a missing persons case.
Marohn’s brother, Peter Naple, did not respond to requests for comment about Marohn having said she was being stalked. Hedges could not be reached to provide any further details.
As the Marohn case appears to grow cold and approaches the four-month mark since her disappearance, family, friends and others continue to prod law enforcement and even lawmakers for answers.
They write about their anguish over Marohn, a poet and activist who adored the moon, literature and nature.
Marohn, of Delmar, N.Y., had checked into The Red Lion Inn on March 24, and planned to stay there until March 30 after an emotional upset related to work, her brother, Naple, previously told The Eagle.
She was last seen Sunday, March 27. Her 2017 black Subaru Impreza was found at the trailhead for Longcope Park off Church Street in South Lee on Tuesday, March 29. A resident who lives down the road said he spotted her car there on Sunday, when an ice storm gripped the county.
Her last cellphone signal was tracked to a residential area, less than a mile from where her car was found.
In his piece, Hedges ties Marohn’s disappearance to the culture of abusive men and the larger crisis of missing women and girls, many of whom are people of color and do not receive enough media attention when they vanish.
Hedges met Marohn at an Occupy Wall Street encampment in 2011 and got to know her later after she moved to Troy, N.Y., where he traveled to give lectures, he wrote.
Hedges wrote of her open heart, and the suffering that flooded it.
“She was too good for this world, too trusting, too caring and too vulnerable. She paid for this by having her heart broken many times,” Hedges wrote. “She carried under her exuberance the weight of sadness that comes with loving without restraint.”
He noted the titles of the books her brother found in her room at the Red Lion Inn. One was “The Heights of Machu Picchu” by Pablo Neruda.
A close friend of Marohn’s wrote last week on the website Medium that Marohn was about to start a new life in Washington state. Anna Mercury wrote of her friend’s pain.
“Something in her was broken, shattered by loving too much and seeing too much and being too right in a world gone wrong,” Mercury wrote.
Of her vanishing, Mercury wrote: “Fifteen weeks and I can’t put the pieces together. None of us can.”