Gil Harrington and Kenny Jarels look at the number of missing and murdered women in Virginia. (Source: WSLS)
ROANOKE (WSLS)-- The mother of Morgan Harrington is saying enough is enough after another woman has gone missing near the Charlottesville area.
"It's heartbreaking to know that another young woman is missing and another family is going through the anguish of the missing period," mother Gil Harrington said.
Gil Harrington knows this pain all too well. She said hearing the news of UVA student Hannah Graham's disappearance on Monday, she can't help but think of her own daughter, Morgan. Morgan was a Virginia Tech student who went missing near UVA's campus in 2009 and was found three months later murdered.
"Every new class of first year students at UVA don't know the previous cultural history there and the high incidents of assaults against young women there," Harrington said.
Harrington said the circumstances surrounding the UVA softball player vanishing has startling similarities to her daughter's case.
Charlottesville Police have searched areas between Rugby Road and Grady Avenue and also here near McGrady's Pub in Charlottesville for Hannah.
While, police found Morgan's Pantera t-shirt from the night she was murdered in the middle of both areas.
Now, Harrington said there's at least thirteen women in the last five years in Virginia who have gone missing or been murdered.
"It seems like there is a cluster phenomenon of missing and murdered women in that area and I don't know if it's that attributable to a crime spree or to a situation that enables these crimes to occur, but what ever the problem is, we need to address it. There's too many are missing and too many are gone," Harrington said.
It's an unsettling trend, Kenny Jarels is working to stop. Jarels is helping Harrington and her husband run the organization "Help Save the Next Girl."
"Anytime something in that particular area happens, it automatically sends up a red flag to me. I saw some similar ties in Hannah in Morgan," Help Save the Next Girl organizer Kenny Jarels said. "We are all praying Hannah comes back and she comes back safe, but there's so many things going on down there in that area like Gil said, I don't believe in coincidences any more I just don't."
Jarels worked with police to help get Hannah's photo out through social media.
"I've been told this numerous times by police departments, 'We can't do what you do. We don't have the resources. We don't have the man power, the areas you hit, we can't do it.' That's why I say it's very important to work along with police and we will continue doing that."
Jarels said Help Save the Next Girl helps speak for the women and men who can't speak for themselves.
"I have people say 'you have you forgotten about Morgan. You guys are spreading out all over the country now' and I say 'no, Morgan is with us everywhere we go. Because of Morgan we are helping other people."
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State Police confirm what Morgan's mother Gil learned earlier Monday. The arrest of 32-year-old Jesse Matthew provided a forensic link for investigators to pursue in the murder of Morgan Harrington. More >>