Morgan Harrington Missing - Disappearance of Virginia Tech Student Now a Criminal Case

Facebook Photo: Morgan Harrington

ROANOKE, Va. (CBS/AP) The search for 20-year-old Morgan Dana Harrington, the Virginia Tech student missing since she became separated from her friends at a Metallica concert Saturday, is being treated as a criminal investigation, police said Wednesday.

PICTURES: Morgan Harrington Missing

Virginia State Police Lt. Joe Rader said authorities don't know whether a crime was committed in Harrington's disappearance from the concert at the University of Virginia in Charlottesville, about 75 miles west of Richmond.

"We do not know whether she is alive or has met some kind of ill fate," Rader told a Charlottesville news conference.

Police have confirmed that Harrington, of Roanoke, was near the concert arena at least until 9:30 p.m. Saturday, the lieutenant said. She had called her friends about an hour earlier to tell them she had left John Paul Jones Arena and was not permitted to return.

Harrington's purse and cell phone were found by a passer-by in a small parking lot between the arena and an athletic field, and were turned in to police Sunday morning. There was no sign of any type of struggle in the area, Rader said.

Photo: Morgan Harrington.
PICTURES: Morgan Harrington Missing

Rader said police using dogs uncovered no clues in a ground search of the area that ended Wednesday. An air search was halted earlier.

Police have received more than 100 tips from around the country, Rader said.

Police have received so many calls that they established a new line to receive them more efficiently: (434) 352-3467.

There are plans to offer a reward of at least $50,000, Rader said. He expected details to be available Thursday.

PICTURES: Morgan Harrington Missing

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