Metallica guitarist/vocalist James Hetfield has issued a public service announcement pleading for the public’s help to catch the murderer of Virginia Tech student Morgan Harrington. The video can be viewed below.
On October 17, 2009, Harrington was in attendance at a Metallica concert at John Paul Jones Arena in Charlottesville, when, according to her friends, she went outside for a cigarette. Surveillance footage from the night shows Harrington being refused re-entry from several of the venues entrances. Witnesses later reported to police that they had seen a female matching Harrington’s description in a nearby grassy parking lot, and then walking on an adjacent road.
The morning after the concert, Harrington’s purse and cell phone were found in the same grassy field where witnesses believed they saw her the night before. Harrington’s parents, Dan and Gil Harrington later called police to report her missing.
Harrington’s body was eventually found in January of 2010 at a farm in Albemarle County.
Metallica are appealing for anyone who has further information to come forward, and are offering a $50,000 reward for information that leads to the killer’s capture. “Remember, any information — no matter how small you might think it is — could be that crucial piece investigators need to help solve the case,” Hetfield said in the video, which is also posted on an FBI website dedicated to the case.
A revised sketch of the FBI’s main suspect, who has also been linked to a 2005 sexual assault case in Fairfax City, can be seen in the video.
The Harrington family is also offering a $100,000 reward for information leading to an arrest in the case, bringing the total reward money up to $150,000.
“To have abduction, rape and murder of your child is an obscenity. It is an abomination,” Gil Harrington recently told the Associated Press. “The band reacted to that right away. It was a matter of days before James Hetfield was on the phone to Dan saying, ‘As a father, I am outraged.’”