In a press conference this evening, Virginia State Police announced the discovery of remains presumed to be those of Morgan Harrington, missing since October. A farmer out inspecting his fences near Red Hill (just off 29S) discovered her remains this morning, which were identified by clothing and hair. An autopsy is necessary to authenticate the identity and to determine the cause of death. Because of the circumstances of her disappearance and the odd location where her remains were found, police are treating this as a likely homicide.
This will inevitably draw comparisons to the 1996 murder of Alicia Showalter Reynolds, the 25-year-old who disappeared while driving to Charlottesville from Culpeper on 29. Her body was found in a field in Culpeper County nine weeks later; the elapsed time and the heavy rain had rendered the crime scene devoid of clues, perhaps as in the current case. Nobody was ever convicted of Reynolds’ murder, although a 2007 investigation by the Frederickburg Free Lance-Star makes a compelling case that the now-deceased Richard Evonitz did it; he’s also believed to have killed Sofia Silva and the Lisk sisters.