Morgan Harrington Murder: FBI, Metallica and Virginia State Police Ask You To Help Them Find Her Killer

Morgan Harrington disappeared from the John Paul Jones arena on October 17, 2009.  Morgan’s remains were located and recovered the morning of January 26, 2010 on the Anchorage Farm in Charlottesville, VA.


Reported exclusively on,  Morgan’s alleged attacker was tied via DNA to a sexual assault in Fairfax, VA in September 2005.

With the help of a multi media campaign,  the FBI, Virginia State Police and Fairfax Police are asking for the publics help to catch her killer.

Revised Sketch of Harrington Suspect


Metallica offered this public service announcement:


Metallica Statement On Harrington Case

FBI Press Release:

Authorities Launch Multimedia Campaign in Morgan Harrington Murder Case
Murder Suspect Linked by DNA to Sexual Assault in Fairfax City, Virginia

FBI Washington June 13, 2012
  • Public Information Office (202) 278-3519

Today, federal, state, and local law enforcement launched a multimedia campaign that includes two enhanced composite sketches of a suspect in the 2009 murder of Virginia Tech student Morgan Harrington. The unknown murder suspect is also connected by DNA to a 2005 sexual assault in Fairfax City, Virginia.

Authorities recently enhanced the composite sketch created in 2005 from a description by the sexual assault victim. One of the composites shows the suspect with facial hair, as the suspect was described at the time of the attack. The second composite sketch features him without facial hair.

The two attacks were connected through DNA after a forensic profile was submitted by the Virginia Department of Forensic Science to the FBI’s national DNA database. The search found that the suspect in the Harrington murder investigation matched the DNA profile of the attacker in Fairfax City.

The multimedia campaign includes a public service announcement by Metallica lead guitarist James Hetfield appealing to the public to come forward with information concerning the Morgan Harrington investigation. The composite sketches of the suspect are being featured on bus shelters in Washington, D.C., as well as on digital billboards in Richmond, Virginia; Roanoke, Virginia; Washington, D.C.; and in 23 other states along the East Coast. Social media outreach and alerts via Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube, along with a website dedicated to the Harrington case were also launched Wednesday. Podcasts are now available on iTunes, and radio spots are airing to further raise awareness of the ongoing investigation. The multi-pronged effort is designed to develop new leads and renew the public’s attention in the attacks. The campaign implements techniques similar to those that have led to the arrests of the East Coast Rapist as well as Ten Most Wanted fugitive James “Whitey” Bulger.

The Jefferson Area Crime Stoppers is offering a $100,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person or persons responsible for Morgan Harrington’s murder. In addition, the band Metallica is adding $50,000 to the reward, for a total of $150,000.

Morgan Harrington Murder

On the evening of Saturday, October 17, 2009, Harrington attended a Metallica concert at John Paul Jones Arena on the University of Virginia (UVA) campus in Charlottesville, Va. At approximately 8:30 p.m., she left the arena and was unable to re-enter the facility. She was last seen hitchhiking for a ride from passing traffic.

Harrington was dressed that night in a black T-shirt with the word “Pantera” spelled out in tan letters and was wearing a distinctive Swarovski crystal necklace made of large crystal chain links, which investigators have yet to recover. Harrington’s “Pantera” T-shirt was found on November 11, 2009, in front of a row of apartments along 15th Street, NW near Grady Avenue in Charlottesville. Harrington’s skeletal remains were later discovered on January 26, 2010, in a remote field on an Albemarle County, Virginia farm along Route 29. A camera that Harrington had in her possession that night has never been recovered.

Sexual Assault in Fairfax City, Virginia

On the evening of Saturday, September 24, 2005, a 26-year-old victim was walking home from the Giant Food Store located on the 3700 block of Jermantown Road in Fairfax City, Virginia. The suspect grabbed the victim from behind as she walked down Rock Garden Drive toward her residence. He then carried the victim to a grassy area behind a maintenance shed, where he sexually assaulted her. The suspect was last seen running from the area.

The suspect is described as an African-American male with black hair and facial hair at the time of the attack. He is approximately 6’0” tall and was believed to be between the ages of 25 and 35 years old at the time of the attack.

The public is asked to review this information and consider whether they know someone who generally fits this description, who lived or had ties to the area around the times of the assaults, or who may have been known to spend considerable amounts of time in those areas.

People who know the suspect may not believe that he is capable of committing these crimes. He may not necessarily have a violent criminal history. Because investigators are in possession of DNA evidence that can either positively link the suspect to his crimes or exclude innocent parties, citizens should not hesitate to provide information, even if it is just the name of a potential suspect.

The following agencies are cooperating in the investigation of these crimes: the Virginia State Police, City of Fairfax Police, University of Virginia Police, Charlottesville Police, Albemarle County Police, Albemarle County Commonwealth’s Attorney, Virginia Tech Police Department, George Mason Police Department, and the FBI.

Law enforcement agencies are asking anyone with information to contact the FBI at 1-800-CALL-FBI (1-800-225-5324) or the Virginia State Police Tip line at 434-352-3467.

Press Contacts:

Virginia State Police
(804) 263-5547

City of Fairfax Police Department
(703) 273-2889

FBI Richmond Field Office
(804) 261-1044

FBI Washington Field Office
(202) 278-3519

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  1. Hejlena says:

    Hi Blink. Have you seen the photo of Kahlil Tatum, believed to have abducted Relisha Rudd and then killed himself in DC? There is one photo of him-a selfie, I think-in an automobile, and in that photo at least, he is a dead ringer for Sketch. Some say the timeline wouldn’t fit as he was in jail, but I thought I’d pass it along in case he wasn’t. If I can email you the pic, let me know. Leah

    Hi Leah- I do not believe there is any association with Morgan’s case, but I appreciate the diligence.

  2. deetee says:

    i wonder how the civil trial is going? in other news…


    Thanks deetee.


  3. Jane says:

    I was curious as to why a cold case investigative team doesn’t pick up this case or some of the others on BOC that seem so close to being solved.

    Many are, Jane. The VSP does not subscribe to SMART reviews in general, and I am aware that the FBI is acting in an assisting mode at VSP’s lead. They have a suspect in Morgan’s case ( at least his DNA).

  4. questioner says:

    Hi Blink and Blinksters, I’m still around reading and still researching cases from all over the world, because I still believe that Sketch is out there and still doing no good where ever he is.

    I don’t know if you know if Sketch’s DNA was ever run through analysis in other countries? I’ve just started to research what countries actually have DNA databases and which ones don’t.

    Does anyone know?

  5. questioner says:

    The international police agency Interpol listed 54 nations with national police DNA databases in 2009, including Australia, Canada, France, Germany and China. Brazil and India have since announced plans to join the club, and the United Arab Emirates intends to build the world’s first database of an entire national population.

    So according to this article published in 2013, these are the only countries that actually have a database, with UAE beginning to build one.

  6. Rose7 says:

    deetee, your link from above ^^^ startled me.

  7. Aunt Annie says:

    I totally agree with Rose7, shocked about deetee’s link.
    Anybody know a PI in Charlottesville who could pick up his trashed “Starbucks” cup and rule that out? Yikes!!!!
    That said, riding the bus in front of the UVA campus a couple of years ago myself, I felt like I saw several maybe “sketch” possibilities. My imagination likely getting the best of me.
    Ugh, a needle in a haystack but IMHO someone needs to please rule deetee’s hunch out (or in) ASAP. The resemblance is freakishly uncanny and it has been said many times that this perp could well be hiding in plain sight.. It would be foolish to just shrug it off when any and all leads should be explored. I’m anxious to hear what comes of that. Any chance the photo could be shown to the VA victim who had the original sketch drawn? I try to stay on top of any progress toward bringing justice for Morgan but I may well have missed something. Has this name been mentioned before or has this been checked out already?

  8. [...] on the same date as Ms. Graham in 2010 of Samantha Clark and of the course the unsolved murder of Morgan Harrington, who disappeared from John Paul Jones arena in October 2009 and later found murdered in January [...]

  9. [...] also revealed a DNA profile of an African American male suspect of a brutal, unsolved rape that occurred in Fairfax, VA on September 24, 2005.   The [...]

  10. Lisa Smith says:

    I enjoyed reading this thank you Blink. I read every comment too over the past few weeks and I was extremely sad after reading because I never even knew there was a sketch nor did I know about the link to the Fairfax case until I read it here then heard about it after Hannah Graham’s disappearance. I am appalled that the press and/or police (who an I kidding with our police) did not hammer us with this image in Lynchburg. Especially since the VSP headquarters are only 25 minutes away in Appomattox. Maybe if they had, someone who knew JLM from his Liberty days, would’ve recognized him. The more dots that are connected the more my heart breaks especially for the Harrington’s and Graham’s as well as their friends and family. JLM should’ve been stopped earlier!

  11. Lisa Smith says:

    Blink- I don’t know how to ask you anything privately so I’m sending it this way…I know this thread isn’t active anymore as far as comments, but I figured this was where I should put the comment. If I am wrong feel free to move it or tell me where to repost. Thank you for your insight and for your dedication to Morgans case. You kept it alive when no one else did yet their now trying to take your credit I see on other blogs. I have since stopped reading them and only read BOC. Take care

  12. Lisa Smith says:


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