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Family of Morgan Harrington Reacts to Report of Attempted Abduction at UVa

February 19, 2013

The family of Morgan Harrington is reacting to reports of an attempted abduction at the University of Virginia.

Police say early Sunday morning a student hailed a cab, got inside and told the driver where her apartment was. The driver allegedly took her to another location and tried to assault her before the student got away.

Now, the Harringtons are urging the student who filed the anonymous report to go to police, according to family friend Kenny Jarels.

"They are hoping that maybe she will come forward with some information to the University of Virginia police that can make the community aware of who this person is," said Jarels.

Jarels says speaking to police could not only prevent it from happening again, but it could also provide the missing puzzle piece they have been searching for in Morgan's death.

"It always sends red flags up to us when we hear about something like this in this community because we never know if this is the guy that we're looking for," said Jarels.

Jarels, who has been involved in the search for Harrington's killer, says both cases are similar -- involving college-aged women, strangers and cars.

Jarels says both he and the Harringtons are happy the UVa. student is safe, but that is not always the case.

"The next girl may not be so lucky. Morgan wasn't lucky. Morgan did supposedly get in a vehicle with a stranger, at least that's what they're reporting, and we know the outcome of that," said Jarels. "We don't want to see that happen again."

The Help Save the Next Girl Foundation, established after Morgan's abduction and murder, educates young women about personal safety.

Morgan Harrington disappeared after leaving a concert at John Paul Jones Arena in 2009. Her remains were found on an Albemarle County farm a few months later. No one has been charged with her death.

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