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Fairfax sex assault now linked to Harrington case

Morgan Harrington, 20, disappeared last fall at a concert in Charlottesville. Her remains were found on a farm outside the city in January.

There appears to a new lead in the case of slain Virginia Tech student Morgan Harrington.

State and local investigators say forensic evidence has linked her case to that of a woman who was abducted and raped in the City of Fairfax in 2005.

Harrington is the 20-year-old Roanoke woman who disappeared outside of a Metallica concert at the University of Virginia’s John Paul Jones Arena in Charlottesville last October.

After a police search, her skeletal remains were found in an Albemarle County farm outside the city in January.

Her case gained national attention and is being investigated as a homicide, police said.

On Thursday, almost six months after Harrington’s remains were found and nearly five years after the victim in the Fairfax assault was attacked, police announced the possible connection between the two cases.

In the Fairfax abduction, the 26-year-old victim was walking home from a Giant Food store on Jermantown Road, at 10 p.m. on Sept. 24, 2005.

The attacker grabbed the woman and then carried her to an area with a pool where he sexually assaulted her, according to police. Afterwards, the man then fled the area.

Police at that time were unable to create a composite sketch of the attacker based on the description the victim provided to police, said Virginia State Police spokeswoman Corinne Geller.

But with new evidence in hand, the attacker is now said to be between 25 and 35-years-old, 6 feet tall, with a medium build, black hair with a beard and mustache. He may have scratches on his face, according to a flyer distributed by Fairfax police.

The attacker may have worked to change his appearance over the past five years.

Anyone with information about the man can call Fairfax investigators at 703-385-7959.

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