Unit 1012 Cover Photo

Unit 1012 Cover Photo

Monday, October 17, 2016


            Let us not forget Morgan Dana Harrington on her birthday, July 24 and October 17 every year. Let us not forget her and support her family members. Please support the Organization, Help Save the Next Girl, in memory of her.

            We will also remember her on the following observances every year:

1. National Day of Remembrance for Murder Victims (September 25) (See the 2014, 2015 & 2016 event)

2. Tree of Angels (December) (See the 2014 & 2015 event)

Morgan Dana Harrington

Morgan Harrington

Morgan Dana Harrington
July 24, 1989
Charlottesville, Virginia, U.S.
October 17, 2009 (aged 20)
Charlottesville, Virginia, U.S.
Cause of death
Body discovered
January 26, 2010
Known for
Missing person and murder victim

Morgan Dana Harrington of Roanoke, Virginia (July 24, 1989 - October 17, 2009), was a 20-year-old American Virginia Tech student who disappeared from the John Paul Jones Arena on October 17, 2009, while attending a Metallica concert at the University of Virginia (UVA). Her disappearance initiated one of the largest searches in Charlottesville, Virginia's history. Harrington's remains were discovered three months later in rural farmland. A forensic connection has been made to the principal suspect in the murder of Hannah Graham, a University of Virginia student who is believed to have been abducted on September 13, 2014. On September 15, 2015, Jesse Matthew was formally charged with first degree murder and abduction with intent to defile in the murder of Morgan Harrington. On March 2, 2016 Jesse Matthew plead guilty to the first-degree murder and abduction with intent to defile of both Hannah Graham and Morgan Harrington and received four additional consecutive life sentences with no possibility of parole or release.


On October 17, 2009, Harrington and three friends drove to the John Paul Jones Arena for a concert. During the opening act's performance, Harrington told friends that she was going to the restroom. When she did not return, they called her cell phone at 8:48pm and she told them that she was locked out of the arena because of its "no re-entry" policy. She added that she would find a way home and they should not worry. According to witness reports, she was last seen at around 9:30pm hitch-hiking on a nearby bridge. There are also two witnesses who claim to have seen her with three men after she had left the arena.

The following day, her purse with her identification and cell phone (with batteries removed) was discovered in one of the arena's overflow parking areas, the RV lot at UVA's Lannigan Athletic Field.

Her remains were discovered on January 26, 2010, about ten miles (16 km) from the arena in a remote area of a 742-acre (3.00 km2) farm and at least one-and-a-half miles from road access. Although investigators have not released information about her death, her parents confirmed that the death had been very violent and bones were broken.

In April 2010, law enforcement confirmed that a Pantera T-shirt, which had been found in November 2009 outside of an apartment building about a mile-and-a-half from the arena, was indeed the shirt she had been wearing on that evening according to forensic tests. Police also determined a forensic link between this murder and an abduction and sexual assault in Fairfax, Virginia in September 2005. They also believed that the killer might be familiar with the area where Harrington's body was found.

Harrington's mother Gil confirmed on May 17, 2010 that her daughter had been raped: "It has been seven months since Morgan was abducted, raped, and murdered. Still no resolution! We find some comfort in having recovered her body; knowing it is better than not knowing and trying to 'fill in the blanks'."


Morgan Harrington's mother, Gil, with a self-portrait by her daughter.

The case achieved such widespread national attention that the Virginia General Assembly honored the murdered student with a special resolution.

The killing provoked fears, expressed by her parents in many meetings with media including national television broadcasts, that a serial killer might be living in Virginia. DNA was later tied to a September 2005 attempted abduction in Fairfax City.

Crimestoppers offered a $100,000 reward, and the band playing on the night of Harrington's death, Metallica, added an additional $50,000 reward for information leading to a conviction.
Her parents continued to appear at numerous special events, including the University of Virginia's annual "Take Back the Night" rally and urged UVA administrators to work toward a safer campus.

In September 2014, Harrington's case was linked to the murder of Hannah Graham in Charlottesville, Virginia, through "forensic evidence" pertaining to Jesse Matthew, the main suspect in the latter case. On October 20, 2014, Matthew was indicted in a 2005 abduction in Fairfax, Virginia. Over a decade earlier, Matthew had twice been accused of sexual assault at two separate Virginia colleges he attended as a student. He left each school immediately after each allegation. The reported assaults occurred within an 11-month period of each other, as Matthew moved from the evangelical Christian Liberty University in Lynchburg to the Christopher Newport University in Newport News. Police investigated each report, but in neither incident was a criminal case brought against him. On September 15, 2015, Jesse Matthew was formally charged with first-degree murder and abduction with intent to defile in the murder of Morgan Harrington. The trial date was originally set for October 17, 2016 and moved back to October 24, 2016 because October 17 is the anniversary of Harrington's disappearance.

No comments:

Post a Comment