October 17, 2013
Thursday marked four years since Virginia Tech student, Morgan Harrington, disappeared after leaving a Metallica concert at John Paul Jones Arena in Charlottesville. Several months later, Harrington's body was found on a farm in Albemarle County. Her murder remains a mystery and the Harringtons say the loss of their daughter doesn't get easier with time.
"You don't get over it, you get past it," said Gil Harrington. She and her husband, Dan Harrington, returned to the last spot their daughter was seen alive, the Copley Bridge. While the Harringtons are mourning their loss, another family is searching for their missing daughter.
"It's an emotional day," said Laura Murphy, the mother of missing Nelson County teen, Alexis Murphy. "Just to talk about her makes me cry." It's been 75 days since Murphy was last seen at a gas station in Lovingston.
The families of Harrington and Murphy say they support each other, united by their loss.
"We will help carry her, as other people did for us," said Gil Harrington. "We will return all the compassion we received and definitely we will help this family."
Murphy said she has received much comfort from parents who know what she is going through. "They are such strong people and to have them means a lot to me."
Both families hope to raise awareness through their campaign, Save the Next Girl.
"People need to be aware," said Dan Harrington. "That's the whole issue of Save the Next Girl. We don't want bad things to happen to young people and women need to look out for each other."
While they raise awareness, the Murphys and Harringtons also want answers. DNA found on Morgan's body matched an open sexual assault case in Fairfax County, but the man's identity remains unknown.
"Somebody killed my daughter and that person is out living their life," said Dan Harrington.
In Murphy's case, 48-year-old Randy Taylor has been charged with her abduction. "He is sitting behind bars and he knows exactly what happened to my daughter," Murphy said. "It's very hard."