New Sketch Released in Harrington Murder Case
Reporter: David Tate
Albemarle Co., VA - A new sketch is out of the man investigators believe was involved in Morgan Harrington's death.
Harrington was last seen leaving a concert at UVa in October of 2009. Her remains were found three months later on a farm in Albemarle County.
This new, much more detailed composite was issued by the FBI in an effort to counter leads that suggest the suspect has changed his appearance.
In July 2010, investigators looking into the murder of 20-year-old Virginia Tech student announced a huge break in the case: They were able to connect the young woman's death using DNA to an unsolved abduction and rape in Fairfax five years before. That crime produced a composite sketch, which, by default, gave investigators a face to work with in the hunt for Harrington's killer.
"These people hide in plain sight because he does not have the face of a monster. You know, there's no smoke coming from his nose and bloodshot eyes... he looks like a regular guy who just happens to kill young women," said Gil Harrington, Morgan's mother.
Now, after nearly two years the FBI has reworked the image to give it a much more realistic look and feel.
"It's not perfect like a photograph, but it's very close which makes the image more recognizable as a person," said Harrington.
A person Harrington hopes people will recognize before it's too late again. Harrington is now tracking other unsolved crimes near the Route 29 corridor: Two rapes, four missing women and three murdered women, including Lynchburg's Cassandra Morton.
While Harrington isn't connecting these crimes, she says they do reinforce her message.
"Whether this is the same man involved in more than the two crimes that we attribute to him or if there is a crime wave, either way the communities and people need to be alerted to be more careful," said Harrington.
Harrington is tracking those crimes through the ongoing foundation they set up in the wake of Morgan's death called, "Help Save the Next Girl."
Much of the focus there is based on educating women on crimes of chance and opportunity with the goal of getting Morgan's killer behind bars before investigators make another DNA connection to her killer from another victim.
The FBI and Virginia State Police are still actively investigating the case. No arrest has been made in connection with Harrington's murder.