3 day search ends with no sign of missing student

By Tara Morgan - bio | email

CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA (WWBT) – The three day ground search for Morgan Harrington came to an end with no sign of the missing Virginia Tech student. But some volunteers plan to keep looking beyond this weekend.

Nearly 2,000 people searched three square miles for Morgan. State police say they found some pieces of clothing, but the items were ruled out.

The Texas-based Laura Recovery Center trained the volunteers to be able to go out and do it on their own.

The organizer says some are already making additional plansa about four miles from where Morgan was last seen three weeks ago.

"Forward, slow," yelled team leader Evan Koepke.

A search team, led by Koepke, began a slow sweep of a hillside off Mountain View Drive.

"My job is to make sure these people are able to look for her are equipped to look for her and that everyone comes home safe," said Koepke.

Jay McKee is a father of four.

He says his son was also at the Metallica concert at the John Paul Jones Arena the night the Virginia Tech junior went missing on October 17.

"You just really feel lucky for the grace of God it could've been your child and so we're out here trying to help," said McKee.

That group was one many that scoured the Charlottesville landscape for any sign of Morgan.

The Laura Recovery Center organized the three day ground search.

Some 1,200 people signed up in the first two days. By 2 p.m. Sunday, another 550 people registered for the third and final day, many of them from Virginia Tech.

"There's no clear stopping point and making the decision to stop is very difficult and that's one thing we do well is empower the community to continue to do this," said Bob Smither, Co-founder of the Laura Recovery Center.

McKee says he's on board for anything that might help bring some peace of mind to Morgan's parents.

"Hopefully they don't give up hope and hopefully they do find their daughter," said McKee.

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