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3 Year Anniversary of Morgan Harrington Disappearance - NBC29 WVIR Charlottesville, VA News, Sports and Weather

3 Year Anniversary of Morgan Harrington Disappearance

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Composite Sketches of Suspect Composite Sketches of Suspect

The parents of murdered Virginia Tech student Morgan Harrington are renewing their plea for tips to find their daughter's killer, three years to the day since she disappeared.

On October 17, 2009, Morgan Harrington left a Metallica concert at the University of Virginia's John Paul Jones Arena in Charlottesville; her mom and dad would never see her alive again. Three months later a farmer found the 20-year-old's body in a secluded field in Albemarle County.

Wednesday state police detectives joined her parents, Dan and Gil Harrington, at the Copeley Road Bridge. A permanent memorial marks the spot where her parents have come so many times since October 17, 2009, the spot where investigators believe Morgan vanished.

DNA from a Fairfax sexual assault links Morgan's murder to a man known only to police by a sketch. Morgan's parents are appealing to the Charlottesville community to turn in a killer they say is hiding in plain sight.

Morgan's mother, Gil Harrington, stated, "Animals stay close to their lair. They stay where they're comfortable and they stay where there's easy hunting at hand."

They are also are renewing their public plea for tips to find him.

Gil  stated, "It's time to act out of your compassion and human decency and call in the information you have to Virginia State Police. We ask those who have suspicions - act out of your instinct and call Virginia State Police with your tips."

Last Friday "America's Most Wanted" aired a special with the Harringtons on Morgan's murder. State police say the nationwide TV appearance generated seven solid new leads.

The Harringtons are not alone in the hunt for a killer. Volunteers with the Help Save The Next Girl campaign are creating a nationwide network to prevent predators from finding another victim. Laura Schneider is president of the first college chapter at Virginia Tech.

Schneider said, "If they're fighting for all of us and all the next people who may have this tragedy, why are we not fighting for ourselves?"

Colleges - including the University of Virginia, Longwood, and Clemson - are forming Help Save The Next Girl chapters. The campaign is even developing educational materials for the Girl Scouts.

Dan and Gil Harrington always hope this will be their last trip to Copeley Road without a killer behind bars, but say it won't be the last time you see Morgan's face. "We are trying to make a positive legacy for her."

If you know any information that can help investigators find Morgan's killer, you are urged to call the special Virginia State Police tip line at 434-352-3467. 

There is a reward of up to $150,000 for information leading to an arrest and conviction in the case.  Click here for more information.

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