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Morgan Harrington Body Found Update: Autopsy Underway

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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (CBS/AP) Virginia medical examiners are conducting an autopsy on the remains believed to be those of missing Virginia Tech student Morgan Harrington and said results would be released today.

Photo: Morgan Harrington.

PICTURES: Morgan Harrington Missing

Virginia State Police Superintendent Steve Flaherty said authorities are confident they've finally found the body of the 20-year-old who disappeared last October while attending a Metallica concert in Charlottesville, but an autopsy was being conducted to confirm the identification.

Photo: Morgan Harrington.

PICTURES: Morgan Harrington Missing

"We can't say with 100 percent certainty, however, there were significant items and evidence" to lead authorities to conclude the remains were Harrington's, Flaherty said Tuesday. Investigators declined to say what the items were.

The remains were found Tuesday morning by farmer David Bass while he was on a tractor inspecting fences on his 700 acres in the rugged foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Flaherty described the location as "very remote." The farm is located in southern Albemarle County, about 10 miles from the John Paul Jones Arena.

Photo: Morgan Harrington and family.

PICTURES: Morgan Harrington Missing

"We are in the very infant stages of this investigation. We have more questions then we do have answers," Flaherty said.

Police have said Harrington, a junior majoring in education, had gone to Charlottesville to attend the concert. She became separated from friends after she left the arena and was denied re-entry.

Harrington was last seen wearing a black T-shirt with "Pantera" across the front in tan letters, a black mini skirt, black tights and black knee-high boots. Her purse and cell phone were found by a passer-by in a small parking lot between the arena and an athletic field.

Hundreds of volunteers as well as law enforcement officials searched the surrounding area. The case drew national attention, police received hundreds of tips, and at least $150,000 in reward money was offered. Metallica contributed $50,000.

Morgan's image was seen on billboards and posters around Virginia, and her family created a Web site to further the search.

Flaherty said the farm wasn't searched before because authorities had no evidence leading them to the farm.

Harrington's parents were in Charlottesville to help identify the remains, but did not attend the news conference.

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PICTURES: Morgan Harrington Missing

MORE ON CRIMESIDER
January 26, 2010 - Morgan Harrington's Mother: Remains "Most Likely" My Daughter (PICTURES)
January 26, 2010 - Morgan Harrington Found? Remains Located On Virginia Farm PHOTOS
October 28, 2009 - Morgan Harrington Missing: Family Remains Hopeful, but Suspect Foul Play
October 22, 2009 - Morgan Harrington Missing - Disappearance of Virginia Tech Student Now a Criminal Case
October 21, 2009 - Morgan Harrington Pictures: Virginia Tech Student Vanishes After Metallica Show
October 20, 2009 - Virginia Tech Student Morgan Harrington Missing after Metallica Concert

  • Neil Katz

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