Charlottesville Breaking News

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...

67 comments | read more

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...

53 comments | read more

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...

30 comments | read more

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.


50 comments | read more

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 for information leading to the young woman's safe return is $100,000.


"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...

115 comments | read more
Editor's Note
4Better Or Worse