An important fact left out of the news accounts of Morgan Harrington’s disappearance

Morgan Harrington, the college student who went missing outside a concert/sports stadium near Virginia Tech on October 17, is still missing, and her mother has started using the past tense when speaking of her. Her mother also gave her fashion advice on the morning of the day she disappeared:

Gil Harrington last saw her daughter the morning of the concert. Morgan, calling on her mother for a fashion consultation, was trying on outfits. They settled on a black Pantera T-shirt, black miniskirt, black tights and knee-high black boots. Morgan made a point of making sure the boots weren’t too high so she’d be able to dance, her mother said.

That’s what the pretty blonde was wearing as she wandered around alone outside the John Paul Jones arena after telling her friends inside the arena that she was looking for a ride home.

No one told her that it’s not a good idea for pretty young women to walk around alone at night near a sports stadium dressed in miniskirt looking for a ride.

Now, here’s another thing that was not contained in any of the news stories, and I had to figure it out with a bit of research. Morgan is (was) a student at Virginia Tech. But according to the Washington Post story, the John Paul Jones Arena is at the University of Virginia, not at Virginia Tech. The October 28 story in the Roanoke Times I had posted had not mentioned that the arena is in Charlottesville, where the University of Virginia is located, not at Virginia Tech. Therefore the reader naturally assumes that the John Paul Jones arena is near Virginia Tech. So where is Virginia Tech in relation to the University of Virginia?

Virginia Tech is in Blacksburg. And Morgan’s parents whom she often visited live in Roanoke, not far from Blacksburg. Blacksburg is near the southwestern corner of Virginia, as can be seen on this map, and is 151 miles from Charlottesville, about a 2 1/2 hour drive.

Now let’s return to the chronology of Morgan’s movements prior to her disappearance as told in the original article I posted on Morgan, from the October 28 Roanoke Times:

8:48 p.m. Her friends call her from inside the arena. When she says she can’t re-enter, they suggest alternative entrances. She says she may get a ride home “from friends in Charlottesville.”

In other words, she wasn’t just looking for a ride into the town near the arena. She was looking for a ride to Blacksburg, 150 miles away, Instead of waiting to be re-united with her friends in the arena who presumably had come with her from Blacksburg to Charlottesville, she was hoping that other friends of hers in Charlottesville would embark on a 300 mile round trip to drive her home.

This adds to the general impression of disorder and confusion, of a 20 year old woman, wearing provocative a outfit, wandering around heedless of what she was doing, and falling into the maw of a killer.


Note: I’m told that news reports said that Morgan was planning to go her parents’ home in Roanoke that night, instead of to Virginia Tech in Blacksburg. Roanoke is 30 miles east of Blacksburg, and 120 miles from Charlottesville, so the round trip for those driving her to her parents’ would have been 240 miles instead of 300.

Posted by Lawrence Auster at November 09, 2009 04:53 PM | Send

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