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The father of a college student missing from Charlottesville said Thursday that he thinks she’s been abducted and announced that the reward for information leading to her return will be at least $100,000.
“We want to find out if Morgan was taken, who did it,” he said. “And I think Morgan was taken. I don’t think she ran away.”
Morgan Dana Harrington, a 20-year-old Virginia Tech student, was last seen shortly after she left a Metallica concert at the John Paul Jones Arena on Saturday night.
Dan Harrington, Morgan’s father, said he had considered the possibility that his daughter had suffered an accident but concluded it was unlikely given the thoroughness of a police search of the area near the arena.
Her purse and her cell phone, minus its battery, were found in the area Sunday, the same day she was reported missing.
According to police, Morgan Harrington left the concert to find a restroom and somehow ended up outside the arena, which doesn’t allow readmission during shows. She called friends inside to say she would try to find a way home, police have said.
She was familiar with Charlottesville. Her father, a psychiatrist, worked in the city until 1990, when the University of Virginia transferred him to Roanoke to start the psychiatry unit at the Carilion Clinic, he said.
She attended events at the arena “fairly frequently,” according to her father, and liked a variety of music, from Metallica to the Beatles.
Her brother had graduated from UVa in the spring.
Another part of the effort is the reward, which is expected to be at least $100,000, Harrington said.
Staff at Carilion Clinic, where Harrington is now the vice president for academic affairs, raised the money, which will be administered by Crimestop-pers, a crime-tip hotline group, he said.
Details of the reward aren’t yet publicly available because legal documents are still being drawn up and because the money has to be secured by Crimestoppers before the group will officially announce the tip, Harrington said.
The Virginia State Police and the UVa police have been spearheading the investigation. Harring-ton hadn’t been officially briefed Thursday afternoon, but had been told informally by law enforcement officers that the FBI has also gotten involved.
CHARLOTTESVILLE -- The parents of a missing Virginia Tech student urged their daughter to come home.
"If Morgan is out there and can hear this, please come home," Dan Harrington, father of missing 20-year-old Morgan Dana Harrington of Roanoke County, pleaded at a news conference in Charlottesville yesterday.
Harrington was last seen about 8:40 p.m. Saturday at the Metallica concert at the University of Virginia's John Paul Jones Arena.
During the concert, Harrington was separated from her friends and has not been seen since. Her parents reported her missing the following afternoon.
It is unusual that Harrington, a Virginia Tech junior majoring in education, would disappear in such a fashion, her mother said.
Gil Harrington said, "This is a girl who calls home almost every day and asks things like, 'How do you make macaroni and cheese?' And I tell her to read the box."
At the news conference, held at U.Va. police headquarters, Virginia State Police Lt. Joe Rader said investigators are treating the situation as a missing-person case. "We have no evidence that a crime has been committed," Rader said.
The parents of a Virginia Tech student from Roanoke who disappeared Saturday night are begging for her safe return.
20-year-old Morgan Dana Harrington, a junior studying education, hasn't been seen since attending a Metallica concert at the John Paul Jones Arena on the University of Virginia campus.
Her parents last saw her Saturday afternoon before she left their home in Roanoke to pick up friends from James Madison University.
"She called me when she arrived in Harrisinburg around 2:30 and that was the last we heard from her," said Morgan's father Dan Harrington.
Police say Morgan and her friends arrived at the concert but Morgan got separated from the group around 8:40 p.m.
Morgan's parents say they're close to their daughter. They talk almost every day and she goes home several times a week.
"Being absent and unheard from for this amount of time is really unusual...unheard of from her," said Morgan's mother Gil Harrington.
Police are calling this case unusual and say Morgan most likely does not have any identification or a cell phone.
"It is very unusual that we have not heard anything either from her friends or from her family regarding her whereabouts," said Virginia State Police Lt. Joe Radar. "Our biggest concern currently are her whereabouts and her welfare."
A Facebook page has been created by a man who believes he may have been Morgan at the concert Saturday night. He hopes the page will help bring Morgan home.
"If we can at least tell 100 people, they will tell 100 people," said Wayne Townsend. "Eventually it might help bring her home."
Morgan's parents agree.
"We need to get this girl back home where she belongs," said Gil Harrington.
Morgan has long blonde hair, blue eyes, and was wearing a black T-shirt that says "Pantera." She also had on black knee-high boots, tights, and a blank miniskirt.
On the ground and in the sky, police in Charlottesville are searching for 20-year-old Morgan Harrington. She is a junior at Virginia Tech, and her family is from Roanoke County.
Police say Harrington was attending a Metallica concert Saturday night with friends when she went missing.
WSLS sat down with Harrington’s pastor, Rev. Diane Scribner Clevenger, who lives with the Harrington family in their Roanoke County home.
“I think everyone’s just numb,” Rev. Scribner Clevenger said. “It’s a sense of shock.“
She says police first contacted the family Sunday morning after finding Morgan Harrington’s purse in the parking lot of John Paul Jones Arena.
“Her phone was in there,“ she said. “It was odd the battery had been removed.“
Police have said Harrington most likely does not have any identification or a cell phone with her.
Rev. Scribner Clevenger describes Harrington, who went to Northside High School and graduated from Lord Botetourt, as a sweet person who talks to her parents often.
“Morgan is in constant contact with Dan and Jill [Harrington], and they’re a very close-knit family.“
Rev. Scribner Clevenger says Harrington’s parents left Monday morning from their Roanoke County home to travel to Charlottesville. They took some of her belongings along with them to help with the search.
Dr. Daniel Harrington, a psychiatrist at Carillion, clutched his daughter’s pictures close to him as he pleaded for the public’s help during an afternoon press conference.
“I’d like to say if Morgan is out there and hears us, please come home,” Dr. Harrington said. “If somebody has Morgan, please let her come home safely.“
“She is our precious daughter and we hope this attention can help bring her back to her home,“ Jill Harrington said.
As the search continues, the family says they can only pray someone or something will help lead their daughter home safely.
Anyone with more information about Harrington or her whereabouts is asked to contact Virginia State Police at 434-352-3435 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. University Police can be reached at 434-924-7166