Virginia Tech Student Morgan Dana Harrington Disappears From Concert

Police say 20-year-old woman vanished, leaving behind ID and cell phone.

October 20, 2009, 1:29 PM

Oct. 20, 2009 — -- Morgan Dana Harrington ought to have arrived at her parents' Roanoke, Va., home Sunday afternoon, as she did most weekends, but when the 20-year-old Virginia Tech student did not show up, her parents quickly knew something was wrong.

Harrington, an education major, was last seen Saturday night. She mysteriously disappeared when she became separated from two friends at a Metallica concert at the University of Virginia.

Police found her purse, with her ID and cell phone, in the parking lot of the University of Virginia's John Paul Jones Arena in Charlottesville -- but there was no trace of the young woman.

Her father, Dr. Dan Harrington, said Morgan was a "homebody" who regularly visited her parents in Roanoke, 35 miles from the Virginia Tech campus in Blacksburg. He said she dropped in "midweek and most weekends."

Harrington called her parents to say she arrived safely at the concert Saturday afternoon. She planned to come home again Sunday to study for an upcoming exam with her father, a physician and medical school dean.

To not show up and to not call, Dan Harrington said, was "very atypical. We were in touch with her every day. She would not have just run away."

Police Monday searched the area near the arena using a helicopter and sniffer dogs.

Authorities are, for now, continuing to treat the disappearance as a missing person case, but say they have few leads.

"We have no evidence that a crime has been committed," said Lt. Joe Rader of the Virginia State Police during a press conference Monday.

"It's unusual that we haven't heard anything from her friends or family regarding her whereabouts. That's the biggest concern currently: her whereabouts and her welfare," said Rader.

Dan Harrington described his daughter as a "really great kid. She loved music and occasionally went to large concerts. She was an artist and liked to read."

He also described her as a "forward-looking person" who planned to choose her classes for the spring semester this weekend, and already purchased a Halloween costume with her mother.

Into Thin Air: Virginia Tech Student Disappears

Harrington, said her father, did not have a boyfriend.

"If Morgan is out there and hears us -- please come home. And if someone has Morgan, please let her go and come home safely," her father said at a press conference Monday.

"We miss our little baby. She is our precious daughter," said her mother, Gil Harrington.

Harrington was last seen wearing a black T-shirt with "Pantera" written on the front in tan letters, a black miniskirt, black tights and knee-high black boots.

A Facebook group "Help Find Morgan Dana Harrington" has been set up in the hope of collecting information. Over 800 people have joined the group, but most have contributed only their support and prayers. None say they have information as to her whereabouts.

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