'It is war': Harringtons vow at murder's two-year anniversary
The parents of murder victim Morgan Dana Harrington marked the two-year anniversary of their 20-year-old daughter's mysterious abduction with stern words for the killer– and for any sleuths– to hear.
"It is war," says mother Gil Harrington.
Indeed, her husband reminds the public that a $150,000 reward remains in place for the person who cracks the case that began on October 17, 2009 during a Charlottesville rock concert.
"One hundred and fifty thousand dollars can change your life," said Dan Harrington, "and it can also bring the person who did this the justice they deserve."
Authorities, meanwhile, urge anyone to come forward who noticed any suspicious circumstances between the day of Morgan Harrington's disappearance to the moment, 101 days later, when the young woman's remains were discovered in an Albemarle County cow pasture.
Harrington was last seen attempting to hitch a ride on the Copeley Road Bridge after she left the evening's Metallica concert at the nearby John Paul Jones Arena. Officials remain particularly interested in suspects who had knowledge of Anchorage Farm and in anyone who exhibited any unexplained wounds– as might be delivered by a resisting victim– around the time of the abduction.
At the Monday morning event on the bridge, Harrington's parents talked about their recently-announced "Help Save the Next Girl" campaign, they lauded searchers and supporters, and they showed off "The Hunted," a new painting created by a Virginia Tech instructor who taught their daughter.
"Morgan was really something," said adjunct religion and culture professor Jane Lillian Vance, who remembers Harrington as an A+ student in her class called "The Creative Process." Vance said the college student had been slated to travel with her to Nepal for further study in the summer of 2010. Instead, Vance trekked to the 19,000-foot level in Nepal with some of Harrington's ashes, which she scattered in the mountains.
As for the investigation, it appears to have hit a roadblock. DNA recovered from the black t-shirt Harrington was wearing the night of the concert has been linked to a years-earlier unsolved Fairfax rape, but authorities have been unable to find the suspect.
"We are angry, and we are not alone," the mom told the assembled reporters and supporters Monday.
"Our history tells us his compulsion to hurt again cannot be quieted," said the father, who noted afterwards that some people probably wish the Harringtons would be quieted.
"Well, we're not going to go away," says Dan Harrington. "It's a parent's duty to do what we're doing."
Indeed, it is war.
Hours after the commemorative event, word was released that Mrs. Harrington, as executor of her daughter's estate, filed suit nearly a week earlier in Roanoke against Regional Marketing Concepts Inc., aka RMC Events, the company that provided Arena security during the Metallica concert. Seeking $3.5 million, the suit alleges that the company's action, in denying Morgan the right to return after leaving the venue, led to the incident. In comments published in the Roanoke Times, the company president, while not commenting on the suit, cites the ubiquity of such "no-reentry" policies.
–updated with lawsuit info 12:01pm, Tuesday, October 18Read more on: Morgan Harrington