Police are calling for the public to “educate them” on the area where the remains of Virginia Tech student Morgan Harrington were found.
“You know what goes on there,” Rader said, referring to local residents. “You know the history. You know who goes in and out of the vicinity.”
In a briefing Thursday afternoon with reporters outside of the Virginia State Police Area Office in Charlottesville, Virginia State Police Lt. Joe Rader outlined details of a potential relationship between an assailant and the Anchorage Farm site where Harrington was found.
Rader also announced the creation of a new hotline dedicated to specific information about the Anchorage Farm location.
According to Rader, those responsible for the crime may have had a formal connection to the farm property. He said their past experiences led them to return to the area to leave Harrington’s body.
“The person responsible for this felt it was the most important place to be in this high time of stress, and the reality is that’s where Morgan’s body was found,” Rader said.
Rader added that the decision to leave a body at the location would pose a significant risk to those without prior knowledge of the area, pointing out the property’s difficult terrain that featured fences and streams.
“You could not have just walked in there, without being able to negotiate things you’d be unfamiliar with,” Rader said.
Rader pointed out the challenges of moving a body to its final resting place, which sits a “considerable distance” from any major roadway including Route 29, a highway that borders the property.
“You’d have to be familiar with the layout,” Rader said.
He was confident that residents around the Anchorage Farm area could supply leads for the investigation.
Rader said no arrests had been made in the case, and that no determination had been made on the cause or time of Harrington’s death. Virginia State Police confirmed Wednesday that Harrington’s death was a homicide.
Harrington, a 20-year-old junior education major, went missing Oct. 17, 2009 while attending a Metallica concert at the University of Virginia’s John Paul Jones Arena, about ten miles away from the southern Albemarle County property. She was last seen hitchhiking on the Copeley Road Bridge, less than a half a mile from the arena.
A mass service for Harrington will take place Friday, Feb. 5, at St. Andrews Catholic Church in Roanoke, Va., at 3:30 p.m. A reception at the Hotel Roanoke is scheduled after the service. The service is open to the general public.
Those with information about the Anchorage Farm location are asked to call the new Virginia State Police tip line at (434)709-1685. Individuals with information on the Morgan Harrington case are asked to call (434)352-3467.