On Morgan Harrington

In the past, I have used my first post of the week to publicize missing persons or other crime cases.

The following started as the search for a missing person, but ended tragically--with authorities determining that the victim was murdered.

I have been reading about the case and hope to offer my perspective in the coming weeks.

In the meantime, here is a summary.
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Morgan Harrington

On October 17, 2009, 20-year-old VA Tech student Morgan Dana Harrington attended a Metallica concert with friends in Charlottesville, VA.

During the opening act, she reportedly told friends that she was going to the restroom. A short time later when she had not returned to her seat, one friend called Morgan's cell phone. Morgan answered and told the friend that she had inadvertently walked out of the concert venue and security would not let her return.

Camera footage at the concert viewed later by police showed her unsuccessfully trying to get back into the seating area.

She told her her friend not to worry and that she would find her way home.

They never saw her again.

The following day, Morgan's purse was found in an overflow parking area near the concert arena. Her cell phone was with the purse, but the battery had been removed.

Massive searches were organized, and authorities evaluated several possible sightings of the missing woman.

Morgan was not located.

On January 26, 2010, a property owner checking fencing at the Anchorage Farm found Morgan's body. The recovery site is described as rural (700+ acre farm), is about 10 miles from where the woman vanished, and is over 1.5 miles from the closest road.

In April of that same year, police confirmed that a shirt found a mile from the arena had been matched to the missing woman.

This missing person case sadly became a sexual assault and murder investigation.

The case remains unsolved, but authorities still hope to find new information.

Evidently, forensics tests in this case match to another unsolved crime--a kidnapping and rape in Northern Virginia. The released person of interest information is that he is described as a black male, 25 to 35 years old, approximately 6 feet tall with a medium build, with black hair, a beard and a mustache.

A sketch of the individual can be seen here.

In memory of their daughter, the Morgan Dana Harrington Educational Wing was constructed at a facility for orphans in Zambia, Africa and a memorial scholarship was established at VA Tech.

You can read more about Morgan and the good work being done by her family by going here to the Find Morgan website.

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My prayers are with the victim's family, and I'll have more on this case soon.

For more of my posts on those missing, you can go here

16 comments:

Clarissa Draper said...

What a sad story. I hope the parents can find the answers they are looking for and justice.

Momma Fargo said...

Intriguing case. I will wait on pins and needles for the rest of your story.

Pat Hatt said...

Hope the scumbag gets caught very soon.

messymimi said...

Every parent's nightmare.

lisa said...

This makes me so sad. Someday, we'll probably see this story as an episode of Criminal Minds. And I hope Derek Morgan is the one who finds the scum bag.

CBR said...

I’m not familiar with your site but I am glad to see you covering the Harrington case. I have followed it since the beginning because she reminds me so much of my daughter who went to see the same Metallica show when it rolled through our town. There is much more than meets the eye to this case and I look forward to reading more about what you have to say here.

Brian Miller said...

right in my backyard...actually all around me...charlottesville is only an hour north...we can hope that he gets caught....

Jessica Lawson said...

This is horrible. I have a stepdaughter starting college this Fall and this type of story makes it even harder to let go.

carma said...

security went a little overboard on this one - they couldn't take the time to confirm that she had in fact been watching the show? She would still be alive - smh

Stina Lindenblatt said...

That's so sad. If security had let her back in, she'd still be alive. And I bet they know that too.

SuziCate said...

This happened near my home town and is so sad. It put much fear into the community.

Slamdunk said...

Thanks for the comments all, and I appreciate you stopping by CBR. I won't have a second post on the case this week, but soon.

Anonymous said...

I am not convinced the man in the sketch killed her. I am more inclined to believe the newspaper lady when she states she saw her coming from a dorm room.

Every TV bounty hunter hoping to sell their idiocy on TV jumped on this case. Her father fuels the idiocy (as most would expect) yet the signs are all there: Shirt left near the dorm on Veterinary Day; horse hair a possibly when traveling to location of body dump site; dump site 10 miles from abduction site and........on a farm!

Nope. More were involved other than this lone black man. Perhaps he's the college dealer or travels around them to set up small shoppes. Easy enough considering Army Intelligence is nearby.

Anonymous said...

I am not convinced the man in the sketch killed her. I am more inclined to believe the newspaper lady when she states she saw her coming from a dorm room.

Every TV bounty hunter hoping to sell their idiocy on TV jumped on this case. Her father fuels the idiocy (as most would expect) yet the signs are all there: Shirt left near the dorm on Veterinary Day; horse hair a possibly when traveling to location of body dump site; dump site 10 miles from abduction site and........on a farm!

Nope. More were involved other than this lone black man. Perhaps he's the college dealer or travels around them to set up small shoppes. Easy enough considering Army Intelligence is nearby.

BobKat said...

Thanks Slam... I'd read this story awhile back but you provided a lot more detail. It's very tragic. What's most tragic is she could accidentally exit the concert, not not return!

CBR said...

That's one of the keys in this case BobKat. Early on it was not a given that she left accidentally. Later on some spin was added to make it appear that way. It is true that she did leave and it is true that she was not allowed to re-enter. I have always felt that knowing why she left, who she met (if anybody) and for what reason would go a long way in potentially solving this case.
Note that many of the original facts of this case were altered when the family hired a PR firm to manage the case in the media. I don't that to be judgmental of the Harrington's but it is a fact and sadly it may have hindered getting some valuable information.