In the six months since the disappearance and death of Morgan D. Harrington, Virginia State Police with the assistance of local investigators have pursued close to a thousand leads and interviewed more than 100 individuals as part of the on-going investigation. In addition, forensic testing has recently confirmed an article of clothing as belonging to the 20-year-old Roanoke woman.
Harrington disappeared the night of Oct. 17, 2009, during a Metallica concert at the John Paul Jones Arena on the University of Virginia (UVA) grounds in Charlottesville, Va. During the course of the investigation, police have been able to establish a timeline of Miss Harrington’s movements once she ended up outside of the arena at approximately 8:30 p.m. After talking to her friends on her cell phone, she then walked through the parking lot of University Hall and was also seen in the Lannigan Athletic Field parking lot, which is also used for RV parking. At around 9:30 p.m., she was last seen walking on the Copeley Road bridge near Ivy Road, hitchhiking for a ride.
An Albemarle County landowner discovered Harrington’s body in a field on his 700-acre farm on the morning of Jan. 26, 2010. The Office of the Chief Medical Examiner ruled the manner of death as a homicide. The cause and time of death remain under investigation.
Recently completed testing by the Virginia Department of Forensic Science confirmed that a black T-shirt discovered Nov. 11, 2009, in the city of Charlottesville is the one Harrington was last seen wearing the night of the concert. The T-shirt, with the word “Pantera” spelled out in tan letters across the front, was discovered by a Charlottesville resident on Nov. 11, 2009, and turned over to investigators. The T-shirt was found on 15th Street near the intersection of Grady Avenue.
In addition, the team of investigators from the University of Virginia Police, Albemarle County Police, Charlottesville Police, Virginia State Police and the FBI assigned to the case has made substantial progress in evaluating countless possibilities and scenarios related to the circumstances surrounding Harrington’s disappearance and death.
“We are still encouraging the public to come forward with relevant information concerning Morgan Harrington,” said Lt. Joe Rader, Virginia State Police Bureau of Criminal Investigation Appomattox Field Office. “As this investigation continues to progress, factual details are more helpful and important to investigators than theoretical abstracts. It’s going to take that one courageous phone call to Crime Stoppers from someone who knows something firsthand about this case that will be the key to linking together the evidence and data collected to date.”
Anyone with information is asked to call the Jefferson Area Crime Stoppers at (434) 977-4000. A reward of $150,041 is still available for anyone with information that leads to a resolution of this crime. Calls can also be made to local police or the Virginia State Police Tip Line at (434) 352-3467 or emailed to the State Police at firstname.lastname@example.org. Anonymous tips are welcome.