Virginia-Morgan Harrington

State and local investigators in Virginia have linked the unsolved murder of Virginia Tech student Morgan Harrington to an unsolved sexual assault that occurred nearly five years ago.

“Forensic evidence recovered during the course of the Harrington investigation has confirmed the link to the City of Fairfax assault,” a Virginia State Police spokesman said.
Major Break in Case of Virginia Tech Student’s Murder
Virginia State Police
Morgan Dana Harrington, a 20-year-old Virginia Tech student, vanished Oct. 17 after getting separated from her friends at a Metallica concert in Charlottesville, Va.

Harrington, 20, of Roanoke, Va., went missing from the University of Virginia campus in Charlottesville during a Metallica concert on the night of Oct. 17, 2009. Her skeletal remains were discovered more than three months later by the owner of a 700-acre farm in southern Albemarle County. The cause and time of death remain under investigation, but authorities say they are investigating the case as a homicide.

The case police have linked to Harrington’s occurred in Fairfax, Va. The incident took place on the night of Sept. 24, 2005, when a 26-year-old woman was walking home from a grocery store. The suspect grabbed the woman and carried her to a park on Rock Garden Drive where he sexually assaulted her, police say.

Afterward, the suspect fled south toward Fairhaven Court. The original wanted poster said the suspect could have “scratches on his face,” indicating that the victim attempted to fight him off during the attack.

Based upon the assault victim’s statements to police, authorities were able to create a composite sketch of the suspect. He is described as a black male, 25 to 35 years old and approximately 6 feet tall with a medium build. At the time of the 2005 incident, he had black hair and wore a beard and mustache, but authorities say his appearance may have changed over the the past five years.

The Virginia State Police Bureau of Criminal Investigation’s Appomattox Field Office, University of Virginia Police, Albemarle County Police and the Charlottesville Police are working with the City of Fairfax Police on both criminal incidents.
Police sketch of the suspect wanted in the murder of Virginia Tech Student Morgan Harrington
City of Fairfax / Virginia State Police
A police sketch of the suspect wanted in the murder of Harrington.

Meanwhile, Harrington’s mother, Gil Harrington, has posted a warning on the Internet for the person responsible for her daughter’s death.

“I created Morgan’s life force and birthed her. You destroyed that life and murdered her,” the message reads. “I felt her first faint fetal movements. You felt her final death rigors. I knew Morgan as an embryo. You knew her as a corpse. That corpse will not rest. Morgan wants justice. … A day of reckoning is coming!”

Anyone with information about the suspect is asked to contact City of Fairfax Police Detective Mike Boone at 703-385-7959. Anyone wishing to provide information about the Morgan Harrington case is encouraged to call the Virginia State Police at 434-352-3467
or contact
CUE Center For Missing Persons 24 hr confidential tip line
(910) 232-1687