Charlottesville Breaking News

New details: Smart arrives as Morgan Harrington's parents launch search

news-edsmartwithharringtonsmSmart brought a message of hope to Morgan's parents, Gil and Dan Harrington. PHOTO BY HAWES SPENCER

"We will stop at nothing until she is found," says the father of missing Morgan Harrington, as he and his wife were joined in Charlottesville Wednesday by the father of once-abducted but miraculously recovered Utah resident Elizabeth Smart.

But before the November 4 press conference announcing that the public would be invited to join the search, new information suggests that the injured 20-year-old Virginia Tech student's efforts to regain entry to the John Paul Jones Arena after she somehow ended up outside during an October 17 Metallica concert were more intense than previously reported.

"She did make a few attempts to get back into the arena at different entrances," says Virginia State Police spokesperson Corrinne G...

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50 years later: Piedmont Flight 349 gets its due


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How could a plane go missing over American land? How could one man survive? The 50th anniversary of the last flight of Piedmont Airlines Flight #349, which hit a mountain west of Charlottesville and was the subject of the Hook's October 8 cover story, took place Halloween morning near Crozet.

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Unexplained injury: Tips flood in, but still no Morgan

news-findmorgan-stitchedMorgan Dana Harrington disappeared during a Metallica concert October 17. FACEBOOK PHOTOS

Morgan Harrington, the young woman who disappeared during the October 17 Metallica concert, received a facial injury before she left the John Paul Jones Arena, according to multiple sources.

According to the sources, Harrington was seen inside and outside the Arena with blood on her chin prior to her disappearance, say witnesses who wish to remain anonymous. Thirteen days after her disappearance, a police spokesperson confirms the accounts but says investigators doubt the injury points to any altercation.

"It was a minor injury," says Virginia State Police spokesperson Corinne Geller. She explains that police chose initially not to release the detail because the injury was "consistent with what someone would suffer from slipping and falling, not with any kind of assault."

Contacted about the report of...

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On the bridge: Morgan Harrington last seen over train tracks

news-morgan-bridge-hastyHastily stitched-together photo from the bridge which carries Copeley Road over the CSX/Buckingham Branch train tracks. PHOTO BY HAWES SPENCER

The young woman whose disappearance during an October 17 Metallica concert touched off a national search was last seen on a bridge around 9:30 that night near busy Ivy Road. The information came in a Wednesday morning press conference in Charlottesville in which State Police Lieutenant Joe Rader expressed hope that a newly detailed timeline would provoke additional clues from concert-goers and other witnesses.

"Perhaps you saw someone stop a vehicle," said Rader. "Perhaps you saw this young lady get into a vehicle. Somewhere out there lie the answers or lies the vital link."

Rader described the timeline, pieced together from witness interviews, as fairly accurate, but he noted that it changed within the 30 minutes before the press conference began–- and that it remains...

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Morgan's parents: don't blame her friends

cover-findmorgan-promUnlike the rest of "the nine," Morgan opted for a red dress on prom night. (Others: Amy Melvin, Maggie Herrick, and Jenna Testerman.) PHOTO COURTESY HARRINGTON FAMILY

The parents of missing Virginia Tech student Morgan Harrington urge would-be sleuths not to blame the 20-year old woman's friends for failing to report her disappearance during an October 17 heavy metal concert in Charlottesville.

"They're not to blame," says father Dan Harrington. "Everyone wants to make them out to be the bad guy, but they're not the bad guy."

The woman's disappearance didn't get reported to authorities until the next day when her father called police after she failed to show for a pre-arranged visit home to study math and balance her checkbook.

But should the friends at the concert have reported her missing?

"I wish they had," says her dad, "but I don't know that it would have changed anythin...

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