Morgan Harrington and some friends went to a Metallica concert at the John Paul Jones Arena in Charlottesville, Va. on Saturday, October 17th, 2009. The 20-year-old Virginia Tech student expected to arrive home to her parents Roanoke, Va. home the next day. She never made it.
After being separated from her friends at the concert, Harrington mysteriously disappeared. Police found her ID and cell phone in the parking lot, but there was no trace of Harrington, according to news reports. She was last seen hitchhiking for a ride.
Her skeletal remains were found three months later, in January 2010, on a Virginia farm. After the discovery, Harrington’s family offered up a $100,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of Morgan’s killer(s).
Metallica later put up an additional $50,000 in reward money in hopes that someone would come forward with a tip that could help break the case.
Now, after three years, the FBI and rock band Metallica have launched a new campaign in an attempt to finally apprehend Harrington’s killer. New DNA evidence has linked her murder to a 2005 sexual assault in Fairfax, Va.
The rape victim provided a description of the assailant, leading to a composite sketch of the man believed to be Morgan Harrington’s murderer. These sketches — one of the suspect with facial hair and one without — will reportedly be posted on billboards in 23 states up and down the East Coast.
A digital media campaign featuring a website called “Help Us Catch A Killer” as well as a Twitter account, Facebook page, YouTube posts and radio spots are also being launched.
Anyone with information that could help investigators is asked to call the FBI at 1-800-CALL-FBI (1-800-225-5324) or the Virginia State Police Tip line at 434-352-3467.
Her family runs a website called www.findmorgan.com
Metallica also released a public service announcement to help raise awareness.