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Search for Morgan Harrington Shifts to Search for Her Killer

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RICHMOND, Va. (CBS/AP) The search for missing Virginia Tech student Morgan Harrington has now shifted to the search for her killer.

Photo: Morgan Harrington.

PICTURES: Morgan Harrington Missing

Virginia's chief medical examiner confirmed Wednesday that skeletal remains found on a remote farm outside of Charlottesville are those of Harrington, who disappeared after attending a Metallica concert last October.

The medical examiner used the 20-year-old's dental records to make the confirmation, state police said in a statement. The cause and time of Harrington's death have not been determined, said investigators, who have shifted to a homicide investigation.

Photo: Morgan Harrington.

PICTURES: Morgan Harrington Missing

Harrington disappeared Oct. 17 after attending the concert. A farmer inspecting a line of rarely checked fences on his 700-acre cattle farm found her remains Tuesday about 10 miles from the auditorium.

Her father, Dan Harrington said in a statement: "Morgan's mother, Gil, and I are overwhelmingly saddened by yesterday's discovery, but we are also relieved because our questions can now be answered and we can give our daughter a proper burial."

Photo: Dan and Gil Harrington, parents of Morgan Harrington.

PICTURES: Morgan Harrington Missing

At a brief news conference in Charlottesville, Dan Harrington said the location of the remains convinced him that someone local was linked to his daughter's death.

"This is not a random place that someone came upon accidentally," he told reporters. "This is known to someone here. It's a local person."

Photo: Morgan Harrington with family.

PICTURES: Morgan Harrington Missing

Police have said Harrington, a junior majoring in education, became separated from friends after she left the arena and was denied re-entry. Her purse and cell phone were found by a passer-by in a small parking lot between the arena and an athletic field.

Investigators said they had not searched the hayfield where the remains were found.

Photo: Morgan Harrington.

PICTURES: Morgan Harrington Missing

Police were at the field Wednesday seeking additional evidence.

Investigators received hundreds of tips, and at least $150,000 in rewards were offered. Metallica contributed $50,000.

The Harringtons said burial plans for their daughter are "still up in the air" because the medical examiner is not expected to release her remains for another five or six days.

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PICTURES: Morgan Harrington Missing

MORE ON CRIMESIDER
January 27, 2010 - Morgan Harrington Body Found Update: Autopsy Underway
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

  • Edecio Martinez

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