Morgan Harrington's mother speaks on link to daughter's homicide

CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA (WWBT) - Investigators are comparing evidence involving three cases police believe are now connected to Jesse Matthew. Detectives confirmed they have forensic evidence linking suspect Jesse Matthew to not only Hannah Graham, but Morgan Harrington's 2009 disappearance and potentially a Fairfax woman's 2005 abduction and rape.

Morgan Harrington's mother, Gil Harrington, has been vocal about her daughter's murder. Monday, she spoke out about the bombshell development in her daughter's death. Harrington spoke to NBC12's sister station in Roanoke, WSLS.

Harrington says the possibility of pinpointing her daughter's killer has shifted her world. However, she is adamant the focus remain on finding Hannah Graham.

"There is a visceral, primitive need of families to be reunited with the missing," said Harrington.

Harrington was ultimately reunited with her beautiful, young 20-year-old daughter, 101 days after she vanished. Gil says Morgan was raped and beaten. Her remains were discovered on a farm in Albemarle County.

"How ever this unfolds, I know where my girl is. She's in a box in the living room. Hannah Graham's family do not know where their daughter is," continued Harrington.

It's been more than two weeks since Hannah Graham has disappeared. Jesse Matthew, the suspect charged in her abduction, with an attempt to defile, is the same man whom police now believe is tied to Morgan's disappearance, and the 2005 rape of a 26-year-old woman. All three cases are potentially linked by DNA, according to investigators. The discovery brings the possibility of answers.

However, for Gil, the heart-wrenching outcome is still the same.

"I am so pleased that that has happened. But it doesn't change a lot for us. Our bedroom is still empty upstairs. We're not going to have any grandchildren, the wedding, those things."

NBC12 legal analyst Steve Benjamin says investigators will carefully inspect every angle. Meantime, Benjamin says theories on the suspect must remain just that, until trial.

"All of us have got to be very, very careful not to lead to unwarranted assumptions or rush to judgment," said Benjamin.

However, despite the emphasis now on Morgan's case, Gil remains dedicated to Hannah's, as much as her own daughter's. "We need to find her. The investigation needs to find her. And most of all her family needs to find her."

Sources say there's no word on any charges against Jesse Matthew at this time, in relation to Morgan Harrington's case or the Fairfax rape case.

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