The parents of Morgan D. Harrington, the 20-year-old who vanished after a Metallica concert in Oc-tober, said Saturday that they believe two people were involved in their daughter’s disappearance.
Virginia State Police announced July 1 that forensic evidence shows a man who abducted and sexu-ally assaulted a woman in 2005 in Fairfax came into contact with Harrington. The man was never identified, and the Virginia Tech student’s body was discovered in January on a southern Albemarle County farm.
Dan Harrington, Morgan Harrington’s father, said it was unlikely that a person from outside the area would have just happened upon the pasture where she was found.
“How does a person from Northern Virginia know about 15th Street?” Dan Harrington asked. “It’s not a place you happen to find.”
Corinne Geller, state police spokeswoman, said earlier this month that authorities believe the per-son who left Morgan Harrington’s body had ties to Albemarle.
State police released a composite sketch of the Fairfax assailant, who is described as a black man with a medium build who is about 6 feet tall. At the time of the 2005 attack, he had black hair with a beard and mustache.
Geller said Saturday that the state police have received about 75 tips since the sketch was publi-cized.
Gil Harrington, Morgan Harrington’s mother, said that her conversations with state police have given her hope.
“I’m feeling from the language I hear that they are confident that given time, they will tighten this up and have a resolution,” she said.
The Harringtons were in town Saturday visiting their daughter’s memorial on Copeley Bridge, where she was last seen nine months earlier.
Morgan Harrington would have turned 21 on July 24. Gil Harrington said Saturday that the week leading up to her daughter’s birthday normally would have been filled with discussions on how to celebrate.
Dan Harrington said Saturday that the last few months have been tough for the family. The patri-arch said he closed the forum on www.findmorgan.com, the family’s Web site dedicated to their daugh-ter, because people were posting threats. Gil Harrington said the family has received much support and love from the community.
“Those things give you a lift,” Gil Harrington said.
However, the family is focused on keeping the investigation alive and raising awareness about what happened to their daughter. The Harringtons expressed concern that the person or persons involved in their daughter’s disappearance could be around the new crop of University of Virginia first-year stu-dents who will arrive next month.
“What he thinks is ‘fresh blood,’” Gil Harrington said.
Anyone with information about this case should call Crimestoppers at 977-4000 or contact the state police at 352-3467 or via e-mail at email@example.com. A reward of about $150,000 is being offered.