New sketch: Harrington suspect gets digital treatment
With evidence growing colder by the day, police are hoping the Monday, June 4 release of a new composite image in the Morgan Harrington case will generate a tip to help solve the mystery of the young woman's disappearance and death.
Two-and-a-half years after her daughter's life was snuffed out, mother Gil Harrington says she's "very excited" by the release of the new visual, which digitally depicts the suspect as he might appear with and without facial hair and which she believes is "more recognizable as a person" than the previously released hand-drawn image.
While Harrington admits frustration that the case remains unsolved, she says she doesn't doubt law enforcement's commitment to tracking down the perpetrator.
"They want this guy off the streets as badly as we do," says Harrington, who has made dozens of public appearances in an effort to keep her daughter's case in the public eye and who, along with husband Dan Harrington, has launched the nonprofit ad campaign Help Save the Next Girl.
As extensively reported, Morgan Harrington disappeared October 17, 2009 after she left the John Paul Jones Arena during a Metallica concert and was denied reentry. The blond Virginia Tech student, wearing all black, was last seen hitchhiking that night around 9:30pm on the Copeley Road Bridge. Her remains were found three months later on an Albemarle County farm. The biggest break thus far is the forensic evidence that links Harrington's case to a brutal assault and rape of a young Fairfax woman in 2005 as she returned home on foot from a grocery store.
Hundreds of tips have been called in over the past two and a half years, but thus far, none has led to an arrest. Gil Harrington says she believes the people who know the killer may have had suspicions about his involvement in these crimes even if he may seem harmless.
"We are expecting the face of evil to have bulging red eyes and smoke coming from the nostrils," she says, pointing out the sketch's innocuous appearance.
"He looks like a normal person," she says. "He is normal– except that he abducts, rapes, and murders."