Location of body biggest key in Harrington investigation

By Rachel DePompa - bio | email
Posted by Phil Riggan email

CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA (WWBT) - Virginia State Police are asking for more help in the investigation into the murder of Morgan Harrington.

The location of the area where her body was found is what investigators are most focused on right now, said Virginia State Police officer Lt. Joe Rader at a Thursday afternoon press conference in Charlottesville.

The body was found "a considerable distance from the roadway" and the person likely was familiar with the area, he said.

Rader asked the Charlottesville community for specific information to help the investigation, saying that residents in the Anchorage Farm and north Darden areas would have the best chances to help.

Rader said that based on experience and some common sense, the Anchorage Farm location likely wouldn't present an unnecessary risk for the person that took Morgan Harrington from John Paul Jones Arena.  Traveling to Anchorage Farm area would have created a significant risk to a suspect.  The area is a high-risk location to take a body and police believe the person willingly chose the farm.

The person responsible may or not be connected to the Anchorage Farm area, but may have worked, recreated, visited or periodically traveled through the area near the farm where her body was found, Rader said.

The Richmond medical examiner Monday ruled Harrington's death a homicide.

"The cause of death is under investigation, but we do not release the cause," Rader said.

A new phone number has been established by the Virginia State Police just for Harrington information on the location of the body: 434-709-1685.

The 20 year old Virginia Tech student disappeared in October at a Metallica concert in Charlottesville. Her remains were found on an Albemarle County farm off Route 29 last week.

A representative for the Harrington family says Friday's mass and memorial service for Morgan will go on in Roanoke tomorrow despite predictions of heavy snow. The family plans to honor Morgan a mass at St. Andrews Catholic Church in Roanoke at 3:30 p.m.

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