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75 tips gained in Harrington case

FAIRFAX, Va. – The phones have been ringing at the Virginia State Police office since investigators linked the abduction and sex assault of a woman in Fairfax and the death of a Virginia Tech student.

Investigators last week said newly discovered forensic evidence linked the death of 20-year-old Morgan Harrington, who disappeared from a Metallica concert at University of Virginia in October, to the case of a 26-year-old woman who was abducted and raped while walking home to her apartment complex on Jermantown Road in 2005.

Harrington traveled to UVA with friends to see the band perform, but later separated from her friends and then went missing.

“Since the story went national, we have received 75 credible tips from portions of the state and the country,” said Virginia State Police spokeswoman Corinne Geller.

In addition to traditional sources of media, police credit bloggers with helping to publicize this latest development in the case.

So far only a sketch of the man suspected in both crimes has been released and no arrest has been made.

Investigators are also mum on what the piece of forensic evidence links the two cases, though they did say the evidence – which they didn’t have following the sex assault in 2005 – allowed them to create a sketch of the suspect in the Fairfax case and subsequently the Harrington case.

He is said to be between 25 and 35-years-old, 6 feet tall, with a medium build, black hair with a beard and mustache with have scratches on his face. Police warned he could have changed his appearance since 2005.

The Fairfax abduction and assault victim was treated for her injuries and released following the attack.

Harrington’s remains were found on an Albemarle County farm outside Charlottesville in January after a massive police search.

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