Body Found by Hiker Not Believed to be Missing Metallica Fan
The remains of a woman, found Sunday on Candler Mountain in Lynchburg, Va., are not believed to be those of missing Metallica fan Morgan Harrington, although at first, investigators thought Harrington's story had come to its tragic end.
A hiker came upon the body, which was concealed beneath leaves, rocks and branches. The remains are being autopsied by the Virginia state medical examiner's office in Roanoke. The results are expected back this week.
According to police, the body was so badly decomposed that at first, it was not clear what the sex of the body was. The advanced state of decomposition, plus the fact that the body's clothes did not match those last seen on Harrington, lead police to believe its someone else, and not the missing 20-year-old Virginia Tech student. Police did say that the body was headless, which would indicate foul play.
Investigators claim they have "no reason to believe" the body is Harrington's. Morgan was last seen outside a Metallica concert on Oct. 17. Police believe that, after being separated from friends, Harrington tried to hitch a ride home.
Police are now looking over dental records, to see if they can identify the corpse. Soil and other items found near the body were also collected at the scene for tests.
Metallica bassist Robert Trujillo said in a recent interview that he hopes Morgan is returned safely. "I was crushed," Trujillo said, about learning of Harrington's disappearance; he added that the case has been ever-present on the band members' minds. "Stuff like this just really, really bums me out, especially when you are a parent and you have children. I mean, it's the worst thing that you could ever imagine. And of course, you know, we're all hoping for the best and just praying that she's alive. It really hit a sour chord with us and bummed us out."