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Police search for missing Va. Tech student, ask for help

Police continued to seek help today in finding a Virginia Tech student from Roanoke County who disappeared during a Metallica concert in Charlottesville on Saturday night.

Morgan Dana Harrington, 20, was last seen near John Paul Jones Arena in Charlottesville, according to University of Virginia police.

Now, Virginia State Police are asking anyone with video or photos from Saturday's concert to check the images and see if they show the missing student.

State police spokeswoman Corinne Geller said in an e-mail today that investigators are following up on dozens of tips and are continuing to canvass the area around the arena.

She had gone to the concert with Amy Melvin, her roommate in Blacksburg, and another friend from James Madison University. Harrington drove.

Melvin said Harrington went outside before Metallica took the stage. She said she wasn't sure why.

"Everyone assumed she'd be coming back," said Amanda Melvin, Amy Melvin's older sister and a friend of Harrington's. Friends and family still haven't heard from Harrington, she said.

Amanda Melvin said Harrington's purse and cell phone were found outside the stadium and her car was still in the parking lot. She said Harrington wouldn't abandon her friends there.

Amy Melvin said she and Harrington have been friends since they were in sixth grade at Northside Middle School.

Harrington is a junior education student at Tech. She's a 2007 graduate of Lord Botetourt High School, according to the school's yearbook. She transferred from Northside High School after the academic year ending 2006, said Chuck Lionberger, spokesman for Roanoke County Public Schools.

She and Melvin, who attends New River Community College, live off campus.

The Rev. Diane Scribner Clevenger, pastor to Harrington's parents, Dan and Gil Harrington, spoke for the family Monday.

"Morgan stays in contact with Dan and Gil every day," she said. She said it was unlike Harrington not to be in touch with her parents.

Clevenger said Harrington's parents are in shock. She said they left early Monday morning for Charlottesville.

Dr. Dan Harrington is the associate dean for clinic and regional integration at the Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine, scheduled to open next fall. He has been with Carilion Clinic since 1990.

Friends created a Facebook group -- called "Help find Morgan Dana Harrington" -- to help spread the word that Harrington was missing.

Amanda Melvin said friends want to help in the search but aren't sure what to do. She said she thought about forming a search group to help look for her. For now, they are forwarding her information and photo to everyone they can.

"Sitting here while Morgan is out there missing isn't a very good feeling," she said.

Harrington was last seen wearing a black T-shirt with "Pantera" across the front in tan letters, a black miniskirt, black tights and black knee-high boots, police said. She has long blond hair and blue eyes, is 5 feet 6 inches and weighs about 120 pounds.

Virginia Tech police have been contacted by U.Va. police and are assisting with the investigation into Harrington's disappearance, Tech police Chief Wendell Flinchum said.

Anyone who has seen Harrington or has knowledge about her whereabouts is asked to call U.Va. police at (434) 924-7166.

Posted to: News Virginia

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Missing Student

God Bless the Parents and Family.

They will need all the Prayers and support they can get.

I do hope this young Lady is found alive and unharmed.

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