Update 2:29 PM 01/27/2010: The Virginia State Police have confirmed that the body found yesterday on Anchorage Farm in Southern Albermarle County is the body of 20 year old Morgan Harrington. As, I have said below my thoughts and prayers go out to the Harrington family and to the deceased. Below are statements from both Dr. Harrington, Morgan’s Father and the Virginia State police.
“Morgan’s mother, Gil, and I are overwhelmingly saddened by yesterday’s discovery, but we are also relieved because our questions can now be answered and we can give our daughter a proper burial. We know that because of the good life Morgan led and the love she created for everyone around her, she is now in a safer, better place. We appreciate everyone’s respect for our privacy at this difficult time and we thank everyone who has helped us through this tragedy and helped us find Morgan.”
In a statement released Wednesday, Virginia State Police confirmed that the body found on Anchorage Farm in southern Albemarle County early Tuesday is, in fact, that of Morgan Harrington. Dental records supplied by the Harrington family provided enough evidence for the state medical examiner to determine that the remains belonged to the Virginia Tech student who had been missing for 101 days. The confirmation closes the missing persons case that has been ongoing since Harrington’s disappearance on October 17, but opens what police are now considering a criminal investigation into the circumstances surrounding her death.
With a body being recovered that Virginia State Police say is probably the body of missing college student Morgan Harrington, on a farm off of Route 29 in Albemarle County, the question this brings up in my mind is; Has the Route 29 stalker returned to Virginia.
For those who do not know the story of the Route 29 Stalker and his one confirmed victim Alicia Showalter Reynolds, I will refresh those minds.
In March 2, 1996, Alicia Showalter Reynolds’ car was found alongside Route 29 in Culpeper County, Virginia. Alicia, a 25-year-old graduate student, was traveling from her home in Baltimore to Charlottesville, Virginia. Two months later, her skeletal remains were found 15 miles away from where her car was located in Lignum, Virginia. During the investigation, it was determined that numerous other women were “flagged down” by a white male driving a dark pickup truck while driving along Route 29. The man would attempt to get the women to pull over by indicating they were having car trouble.
Also in the same geographical location and time frame this happened:
In late September of 1996, 20-year-old Anne Carolyn McDaniel disappeared from an Orange street and was murdered. Her body was found near Mount Pony in Culpeper County. (This case remains unsolved as well)
Now 14 years later Morgan Harrington disappears during a Metallica concert at the John Paul Jones Arena in Charlottesville, some reports had her hitchhiking around the area of Route 29. Below is a time line of events from Newsplex.com:
October 17 — Morgan Harrington attends a Metallica concert at the John Paul Jones Arena in Charlottesville.
October 18 — Harrington’s family reports her missing when she didn’t show up at her family’s home in Roanoke to study for a test. Investigators start combing through the area where Harrington was last seen, which they say was 9:20 p.m. the night of the concert at the Copeley Road Bridge.
October 21 — Police confirm they found Harrington’s purse and cell phone in a parking lot between JPJ Arena and the University of Virginia’s athletic fields.
October 23 — CrimeStoppers offers a $100,000 reward for any information leading to Harrington’s whereabouts. Metallica adds $50,000 the next day.
November 6 — Harrington’s parents and the Texas-based Laura Recover Center led a three-day search for her with more than 1,600 volunteers.
November 12 — People magazine show Harrington in a feature, along with other missing people.
December 16 — Virginia State Police comb through an area along Interstate 64 in the Ivy area looking for additional clues.
January 12 — Harrington’s parents announce plans for a new search, but it was called off because there was too much snow on the ground.
January 26 — Virginia State Police respond to a call after the discovery of skeletal remains on a private farm in southern Albemarle County.
All 3 of the above cases have striking similarities, women who are in the same age range, who are college students, and the bodies of the victims end up on the Route 29 corridor of Central Virginia, has the Route 29 Stalker returned to Virginia? Was he in prison or lived somewhere else for his 14 years of inactivity? Or all the cases separate acts of violence against innocent people?
More information on the Route 29 stalker and the Alicia Showalter Reynolds case:
More Information on the Anne Carolyn McDaniel case:
More information on the Morgan Harrington case:
Also if any body has any information on the above cases PLEASE call the Virginia State Police at 1-800-572-2260 or 1-540-829-7400 for the Alicia Showalter Reynolds Case, Anne Carolyn McDaniel and the Route 29 Stalker Case.
Note: I am not a State Police or local police investigator, so my thoughts of the similarities of these crimes in no way reflects the Virginia State Police or any other investigating agency. I am just stating that these cases have a quite a few similarities. My hope is some body will call in with a tip, that will lead to the solving of these cases and closure for all the families involved. My prayers go out to the families of Alicia Showalter Reynolds, Anne Carolyn McDaniel, and Morgan Harrington, I am sorry for all of your losses and I pray that you will some day have closure in these cases.
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