Charlottesville Breaking News

Sad days: Harrington family coping, waiting

cover-findmorgan-parentsHarrington's dad holds Kirby while mom gives the family's "I love you 2 much" signal Saturday. PHOTO BY HAWES SPENCER

It's been hell on earth for the parents of missing Virginia Tech student Morgan Dana Harrington.

"God, this has been a long week," says her father, Daniel "Dan" Harrington, who last saw his daughter around noon on Saturday, October 17, just hours before her disappearance from a concert in Charlottesville. "This," says mother Gilbert "Gil" Harrington, "has been physically, emotionally, quite a hit."

During a recent interview at their home in Roanoke, the couple speak fondly of the 20-year-old daughter they eagerly hope to see again; yet throughout an hour-long conversation, they occasionally refer to her, seven days gone at that point, in the past tense.

"You have a choice," says Gil, pronounced JILL, "you can dissolve in the corner or become hard and bitter– or forge...

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Reward increased: Father believes attacker was local

cover-findmorgan-vacationMorgan Harrington, center, with her father at left and her mother at right, on a recent family vacation. PHOTO COURTESY HARRINGTON FAMILY

The father of Morgan Dana Harrington believes that the person responsible for abducting her outside the October 17 Metallica concert is someone from the Charlottesville area.

"If I had to bet my guess," says Dan Harrington, "this is someone local."

He expressed his theory Saturday morning in a living room interview, sandwiched between visits from the top television network morning news programs and a visit from two members of the Virginia State Police. While investigators continue to express a desire for tips, photos, and video from concert-goers, Metallica has reportedly added $50,000 to bring the reward up to $150,000.

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Morgan's mystery: What happened outside arena?

news-dmb-atjpjarena-exteriorThe John Paul Jones Arena parking lots are usually scenes of frivolity, as seen in this pre-DMB concert photo from April. FILE PHOTO BY HAWES SPENCER

Friday update: the reward announced at findmorgan.com for information leading to the young woman's safe return is $100,000.

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"Witnesses and conversations" indicate that missing Virginia Tech student Morgan Dana Harrington– who left a concert in search of a bathroom– spent the hour between 8:30pm and 9:30pm Saturday outdoors near the John Paul Jones Arena, a time when the performance by Metallica, according to the venue manager, was underway.

The time information came October 21 before a phalanx of reporters at a press conference held at UVA Police headquarters by...

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Missing student 'a very responsible young lady'

news-missingtechstudentharrington2Morgan Harrington left the Metallica concert early. PHOTO FROM STATE POLICE

"She's a very responsible young lady," says Diane Scribner Clevenger, the pastor of the Roanoke church that missing Virginia Tech student Morgan Dana Harrington attends.

"It's just a time of shock," says Scribner Clevenger. Best known to the Harringtons as "Reverend Diane," she is serving as a family spokesperson while Morgan Harrington's parents, Dan and Gil, have uprooted their lives in Roanoke to assist with the Charlottesville-based search for their 20-year-old daughter.

Harrington came to Charlottesville with a group of friends to see the Metallica concert at John Paul Jones Arena on Saturday night–- but she left the event before it ended, accor...

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Alone on a mountain: the true story of Flight 349


An artist's rendition of how Flight #349 might have appeared before it flew into the southeastern flank of Bucks Elbow Mountain in Albemarle County, killing 26 of the 27 people aboard.
–painting by Dave Paulley, digitally altered with permission

It was the fall of 1959, and Scarsdale, New York teenager Janet Silberman had been planning to accompany her parents, a top cigar company executive and an avid photographer, on their trip to Virginia. Her younger brother had just begun his freshman year at Staunton Military Academy, and the Silbermans envisioned a getaway to see him as autumn foliage erupted in the Shenandoah Valley.

 But when a handsome Yale student invited the 16-year-old Janet to a football game, her plans for the weekend changed. She was in the stands in New Haven on Saturday, October 31, when a close family friend, who was also the family lawyer, suddenly appeared.

"I didn't realize you went to Yale," she wisecracked.

"I'm sorry, Janet," replied her grim-faced friend. "But the game is over for you. The plane your parents were on is missing."

Fifty years ago this month, near the Blue Ridge in Western Albemarle County, a commercial airliner disappeared while carrying a crew of three and 24 passe...

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