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. Rose7 says:


    I edited out your youtube link. If it appears here again, I am going to be in a position to really say what I think about it.

    This is an open criminal investigation and pending civil matter. I think trivializing it into a home-grown music video is in extremely poor taste. Using images of a murder victim suggestively to support that message- when $50K of the reward money comes from a band who sued Napster for copyright infringement successfully, and whose concert Morgan disappeared from, is what happens when ego supercedes counsel.

    To your point about Morgan’s bracelet being returned- I concede that perhaps that was not prudent, but I do believe that in order for that to occur, or at least hope, that there was no forensic value. There are things that have not been returned to the Harrington’s that I can confirm are physical evidence in her case. In this regard, I am hopeful that the issue of forensic integrity has been preserved.

  2. Olivia says:

    Please note:

    An arrest has been made in the Alexis Murphy case but she has not been found:

  3. Redly says:

    Arrest made in Alexis Murphy case. Name not released yet. They are still looking for her.

  4. CentVA Native Away says:

    ARREST MADE; however, no sign of Alexis Murphy:

  5. Tango says:

    They’ve made an arrest in the Alexis Murphy case.

  6. dda says:

    Arrest in Alexis Murphy abduction. Hope they find her soon.

  7. Redly says:

    Rumor that the arrest was not too far from the anchorage farm area but I have not seen any confirmation.

  8. Rose7 says:

    Edit away, blink ….. I see and agree with your criticism of the video. Thanks for protecting the turf.

  9. CentVA Native Away says:

    Abductor reportedly identified as Randolph Taylor. Reminds me of a name that could be affiliated with families mentioned in a certain piece our host wrote, “Two Years Too long..”

  10. Redly says:

    Her aunt’s last name is Taylor.

  11. Tango says:

    I’ve been on twitter this morning and there are a lot of Randolph Taylors in Nelson County of course, but one tweet mentioned he might go by “Ray”, one said “Randy” another said his name might be Randolph Allen Turner. You can imagine my surprise to see one tweet say he drove a *camo Suburban*…of course this is all complete speculation until LE gives a little more info – hopefully this morning. Sorry folks I’m still hoping this guy is Sketch.

  12. Tango says:

    Randolph Allen Turner is also a suspect/person of interest in the disappearance of Samantha Clarke. Press conference in Lovingston VA at 11:30.

  13. dda says:

    Wouldn’t Randolph Taylor, name according to a source for ABC affiliate, need help dropping the car at Carmike when the abduction seems to have taken place in Lovingston? He certainly didn’t walk back—someone had to have given him a ride.
    This name, but not necessarily the same person at this point, was also connected with the disappearance of Samantha Clarke in Orange a few years ago. I really hope these cases are all solved—other than DNA, the pieces all fit. And if there is a second person, the DNA piece might fit as well.

  14. redly says:

    Albemarle jail confirms the Randy Taylor from the Hook story on the earlier disappearance is being held for the Murphy abduction.

    Am I imagining things or did someone post a pic of an AA Randolph Taylor earlier yesterday?

    Wasn’t it the Ruckersville Scheetz that had that one alleged sighting of Morgan that Geller said they were unable to debunk or words to that effect?

    Note missing friends with criminal records and the standard issue cop car he drives. O and Randy Snead all up in the non-warrant GPS plant. My spidey senses are tingling on this guy.


  15. dda says:

    Based on the mugshot and the photo in the article about Samantha Clarke, it is the same person.

  16. Ode says:

    Could they finally find Morgan’s necklace today?

  17. dda says:

    It was the Sheetz in Orange. About 14 miles from the one in Ruckersville.

  18. Cat says:

    Yeah, Randy Taylor is the same Guy who was pointed at in the Samantha Clark case.

    The Hook did a full exposé on him back in October.

    Being that the cell phone pings were close to his location, wonder if LE is just connecting the dots with him, being that he was a suspect in the previous case. If that’s the case, hope they got more to go in this time.

  19. redly says:

    Picture released of Taylor’s truck. It is fairly distinctive and he is also with the neck tattoo so hopefully people may remember if they saw him in unusual areas.

  20. Ode says:

    Am I imagining things or did someone post a pic of an AA Randolph Taylor earlier yesterday?
    That could have been my earlier post still awaiting moderation. And I do think the ruckersville sheetz is exactly the same place of the sighting of Morgan as well as where RT was stopped in his 1993 Mercury Grand Marquis. Also interesting that he is a repo man and I can not help but think back to the late night trip of taking a car to New Jersey by certain people the day before Morgan’s body was found.

    K y’all- you had me stop and publish on Alexis’s case so Kyron update will be later this week:
    Let’s discuss here:

    To your point Ode, I am not aware of repo men having outstanding warrants and felony backgrounds, in fact, I don’t believe that they could considering LE is alerted prior to a repo. I also recall a vehicle recovered from a lake that had been reported stolen with TX or NM plates at some point.

  21. first-time says:

    Hoping, hoping, hoping that this arrest leads to some answers for the Harringtons.
    2 4 1

  22. [...] and the FBI have a DNA match to whom  they believe is responsible for the assault and murder of Morgan Harrington after she was denied re-entry into a Metallica concert at John Paul Jones arena- which matches a [...]

  23. redly says:

    dda — he could have towed the car. Whether he was supposed to be a repo man or not, the Hook article shows he was doing that type of work, so he would know how to tow a car. He also likely has a bunch of scummy friends.

  24. GeorgiaDad says:

    Blink wrote: “[...] and the FBI have a DNA match to whom they believe is responsible for the assault and murder of Morgan Harrington after she was denied re-entry into a Metallica concert at John Paul Jones arena- which matches a [...]”

    Is this new information? I know all about Sketch, but the VSP have always downplayed the Sketch connection. They were hesitant to release the sketch picture, and stated only that sometime that night she came into contact with Sketch.

    Is the FBI now in charge? Does the FBI feel confident that “Sketch” is the perp? Or is there “secret DNA”?

    There are things about the AM case which seem to parallel MH’s case.
    1) A familiar cast of peripheral characters
    2) “evidence” returned to a possible site of the disappearance (AM’s car, MH’s purse)

    Mr. Taylor is obviously not Sketch, but I wonder if their paths have crossed at some point.

    The FBI has sketch advertised as wanted for the murder of Morgan Harrington- that I agree, was a big leap for them.
    I know that Rader and his predecessor Cappuzzo downplayed the DNA hit, but one has to wonder at some point, how much has either been trained on it specifically, in terms of it’s evidentiary burdens, and their lack of confirmation as to how it got there.

    I have always believed Morgan’s death was at the heads of more than one person, and I still believe it today.

  25. Olivia says:

    What does the Blink On Crime post #26 above mean? DNA is THE Sketch, correct? Does it connect to Alexis Murphy somehow?

    I wonder why RT parked Alexis’ car near her place of work and grandmother’s? How much did he know about her? (He’s a stalker so likely quite a bit.) Did he lure her there somehow? Was he just trying to be clever and throw investigators off the trail by parking it there?

    Does anyone know about evidence found in the cars–hers or his?

  26. PamVA says:

    I’ve always wondered if VSP knew that sketch was in jail or dead and only released the sketch because their hand was forced. I don’t know how this would work exactly. Maybe sketch’s DNA was planted? Maybe sketch helped and was arrested later for another crime. (thinking of pizza delivery murder in Louisiana with the Fairfax VA link, still can’t get that entire scenario out of my head)

    I say all that to say, I agree with you. More than one person responsible.

  27. joerose says:

    Watching Nancy Grace and they are talking about Morgan’s case and the location she was found in relation to Alexis Murphy and the suspect in her case. It’s so good to have Morgan’s name back on Nancy Grace and getting some long over due publicity and attention. Prayers for Morgan and the Harringtons. I pray there are answers and a conviction very, very soon.

    Please join us on the new thread

  28. armyvern says:

    Arrest in Vanessa Pham Case; and his mug shot photo from the linked story is bang on match with the sketch in this story:

  29. CentVA Native Away says:

    I know that there are privacy implications with this, but I like this law. I’m hoping that it yields something in Morgan’s case- sooner rather than later.

  30. bp3 says:

    Twinkletoes says:
    August 26, 2013 at 2:14 pm
    I am always on the look out for sketch. Check out the guy on the upper right.

    So you’re thinking that a 16yr old did this to Morgan? Or better yet if the “Sketch” is accurate ( which I highly, highly doubt that it is) you’re saying that this 11 yr old was the rapist in fairfax? Come on now that is a little far fetched. Almost as far fetched as the story from which the photo emerged.

  31. alexandra says:

    Any news on Morgan? Do you think there is any connection with RT?

  32. Aunt Annie says:

    Also wondering about the possibility of a connection with Randy Taylor and Morgan Harrington.
    Is the information about the stolen ATV available or sealed? Where was it stolen from and when?
    There was serious speculation on Blink on Crime that Morgan was taken to the location where her body was found at Anchorage Farm on an ATV.
    Did Randy own a vehicle that could transport an ATV?
    Is there any way to tell if Taylor was a Metallica fan or if he attended the Metallica concert where Morgan was last seen?
    Any info linking Randy Taylor to Anchorage Farm or to the daughter of the owner/ her crowd?

  33. alexandra says:

    I am at a loss. I am always looking for news on Morgan’s case. Where is it now? Why is it so hard to find her killer?
    It’s October 2013. Where are we?

  34. Olivia says:

    Today is the day, four years later. My thoughts are with the Harringtons. Prayers and positivity. He will be brought to justice.

  35. Marie says:

    4 years… :(

  36. alexandra says:

    Thoughts of you today. <3

  37. bp3 says:

    Morgan’s 4 year anniversary of the night she disappeared has come and gone and the 4 year anniversary of finding her is almost here. Why does there seem to be so much incompetence with missing/murdered women in VA? Too many unsolved cases in that state and that seems awfully strange. I used to search the internet daily to see if this case progressed, but time has shown me that there isn’t a need for that. These days every couple of days or once a week is enough and over the last 10 months or so not a peep about where this case is. Sure the civil trial, or Radar’s plea to whomever he’s trying reach out to have been reported, but nothing else. I hope this gets solved before my time on earth is up, bc this case bothers me to know end for some reason. Maybe it’s bc of how much I appreciate Metallica’s music, or maybe it’s bc I was working in McLean and Tysons Corner, VA when this happened and I saw it everyday on the news for months. Either way for following this case for 4 years one thing is for certain and that is the Harrington’s deserve better than they’re getting at this time. They deserve better from law enforcement and they certainly desrve better from the public. Somebody out there knows something and the fact that they can conceal what they know for this long shows two things. One that they’re far away, so they don’t have to be reminded of what happened on 10/17/09 and two that they’re one of the most inhumane creatures walking Gods green earth.

  38. Dan Harrington says:

    The Game Preserve

    Morgan why couldn’t you have had another life
    Find a lucky guy, be a simple wife
    Maybe make a baby or two
    That’s what I’d hoped for you
    But life is a challenging game
    Who knew you’d have to leave the game so early
    You had a date with destiny on another field
    That was your fate
    A rendezvous with hate
    When you were little, we’d laugh when you’d say
    “I’m gonna be famous someday”
    Honey you were right
    On a rainy October night
    After a violent brutal fight
    You became front page news
    Didn’t choose
    This path to celebrity
    Which cost your mortality

    Froze me cold, I would like everyone to read this please.

    This is the reality for the Harrington family.

  39. Dan Harrington says:

    Gil Harrington’s Thoughts on January 25, 2014 – 4th Anniversary of Morgan’s Body Being Found – A Case Unsolved

    The development of spiritual insight requires a persistent diminishment and distillation of self. In our process of becoming, it is the challenges that most often promote growth. I really want to find a way of reaching the point of stretch and change through joy. Such a better alternative if I could only figure out how.

    I realize that the point where you collapse and break is a powerful place where expectations are shattered and discarded and so all things become possible. If you reconfigure your very being and allow transformation to occur. The effort of the struggle “strengthens” us in a way.

    Our family’s exceptional challenges require and demand exceptional responses. We soldier on a secure in knowing that we are always given the tools to succeed in every place we find ourselves. The trick is to recognize, accept, and use them.

    Spirit becomes most evident when more life can’t be managed. In those sharp times, in that dark place, germinates a fragile surrender; and with acceptance, solace. 241

    I can’t believe it has been 4 years. I can’t believe this case is unsolved with a DNA profile.
    My thoughts and prayers are with you always.

  40. Eloise says:

    Thinking of Morgan and her family today.


  41. deetee says:

    suspect dna in two cases, at least one of which has a witness, i might add.

    Agreed, and more than one. Good Point deetee.

  42. deetee says:

    more irregularities going on with area LE

    Very unfortunate.

  43. Ragdoll says:

    Missing police captain’s body found in/near Waynesboro, VA. (Kevin Quick is the deceased).

    Reading about the suspects, it appears gang related. Does anyone know if LE has considered Morgan’s murder to be gang related (without connections to her, personally)?

    Feels like it could be a good lead…in my lil ole puny mind. :D

    Not puny, FriendLY.

    I cannot say it is related, but I can say that some of those names we came across in analysis.

  44. deetee says:

    i think we have probably been over this before, but in morgan’s case, specifically in albemarle county, who would decide on making an arrest? would it be vsp? or acpd? the ac prosecutor? or a state prosecutor?

    if it was le that decides on the arrest, which prosecutor decides on the charges?

    i do remember blink saying she sadly though the case may have a better chance of being “solved” via le in fairfax rape case, but how likely is that in a case where the victim lived and the suspects dna’s last known whereabouts was 2 hours away?

    Depends on the circumstances, but I have seen major cases have arrests prior to an indictment in this jurisdiction. My guess would be that since it is in the jurisdiction of VSP ( State LEA) that it would not wait to get an indictment if it could get an arrest via probable cause.

    State’s use the grand juries very differently.

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