Date: Oct 12, 2010
Re: Remembering Morgan Harrington: Safety on the Grounds and Beyond
This Sunday, Oct. 17, marks one year since Virginia Tech student Morgan Harrington disappeared after leaving a concert at John Paul Jones Arena. In late January, her remains were found on a remote area of a farm located about eight miles away from the Grounds. No arrest has been made in connection with her death.
Law enforcement officials continue to investigate Ms. Harrington's death and have said that her killer (or killers) is likely familiar with the Charlottesville area, specifically the area where her remains were found.
Composite Sketch of Suspect
Ms. Harrington's murder has been forensically linked to a 2005 sexual assault that occurred in the city of Fairfax, Va. Police released a composite sketch of the suspect in the 2005 case. A PDF of the flier containing the sketch, available in both English and Spanish.
The flier serves as a reminder that police are still actively investigating the case and asking for the public's help in providing tips and information. A $150,000 award is being offered to anyone who can provide information leading to an arrest. The public is being urged to call Crimestoppers at 434-977-4000 or the Virginia State Police Tip Line at 434-352-3467 if they have any information. Callers can remain anonymous.
In communicating with Ms. Harrington's parents in recent months, I know how fervently they hope that no other individual will meet the same fate as Morgan. They remain hopeful that justice will be served in the case of Morgan's death, and they see her tragic loss serving as a potential catalyst for renewed safety efforts not only within the U.V a. community but also on campuses across the country.
Please remember to take your safety seriously, and to watch out for those around you. A number of criminal activities have occurred recently near the Grounds in the late-night hours. Don't risk walking alone when it is dark and late. Lock your doors. Be observant, and make safety part of your daily routine. Call 911 if you need help or if you feel suspicious about a person or a situation. Watch your intake of alcohol so you can remain clear-headed and in control. If you see someone who is intoxicated and possibly vulnerable to an attacker, take the step of calling 911 to get help for that person.
The University is responding to recent attacks on students in several ways. The presence of both University Police and Charlottesville Police has continued to increase in the Corner area. University Police also are evaluating the efficiency of Safe Ride with an eye toward making improvements. Safe Ride, available by calling 434-242-1122, provides rides to students during late hours. Yellow Cab (434-295-4131) offers another safe-ride option for students. You are encouraged to program both numbers into your cell phone. For complete details about these services, please see the Safe Ride site.
Events in Remembrance of Morgan Harrington
Two events at the University on Sunday, Oct. 17, will serve as a remembrance of Morgan Harrington and honor her life. A dedication ceremony for a plaque installed in her memory will take place at 2 p.m. on Copeley Bridge, the last place she was reported to have been seen alive.
A showing of A Gift for the Village will follow at 3 p.m. in Newcomb Hall T heater. The documentary follows artist Jane Vance, who taught Morgan Harrington at Virginia Tech, on a trip to western Nepal to deliver a painting of Tsampa, a Tibetan amchi-lama - a doctor and mind-healer. Morgan Harrington appears briefly in the film, which is dedicated to her.
A selection of Ms. Vance's colorful and intricately detailed paintings will be on display in the theater lobby, where a reception will follow the screening.
I hope you will join me on Sunday and in the ongoing efforts to build a safe community.
Patricia M. Lampkin
Vice President and Chief Student Affairs Officer
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Last Modified: Friday, 22-Oct-2010 11:12:55 EDT
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