Media blitz: Metallica, billboards put Harrington case back in spotlight

Two-and-a-half years after 20-year-old Virginia Tech student Morgan Harrington disappeared after leaving a Metallica concert at the John Paul Jones Arena, the heavy metal band hasn't forgotten about her. On Wednesday, June 13, Metallica frontman James Hetfield released a Youtube video encouraging anyone with information about Harrington's disappearance and death to contact police, and reminding viewers that there is a $150,000 reward.

"Any information, no matter how small you might think it is," Hetfield urges, "could be that crucial piece investigators need to help solve the case."

Hetfield's video is one part of a new multimedia campaign launched by the FBI and Virginia State Police in an effort to apprehend the man connected by DNA evidence to both the Harrington case in Charlottesville and a 2005 rape in Fairfax. The Fairfax victim survived, and her description of the assailant, who attacked from behind as she walked through an apartment complex, is the source of the sketch.

In addition to the Hetfield video and a digitally enhanced composite sketch of the perpetrator– a black male pictured with and without facial hair– investigators will be posting a digital billboard image at bus stops and on highways in 23 states along the East Coast.

In addition, investigators have launched a website and will be using social media sites including Facebook and Twitter to maintain the public's interest in the case. According to a State Police press release, such efforts have led to arrests in other high profile cases including the East Coast Rapist and the capture of FBI "Ten Most Wanted" fugitive James "Whitey" Bulger.

Anyone with information in the Harrington case should call 1-800-CALL-FBI or the Virginia State Police tip line at 434-352-3467 or Fairfax Police at 703-385-7959.

Read more on: Morgan Harrington