Thursday, January 28, 2010
I was buying a few groceries this afternoon when Pat called to see if I wanted to cover a press conference on Morgan Harrington, the Virginia Tech student who disappeared from a concert in October.
A farmer searching his fences for storm damages stumbled upon Morgan's skeletal remains Tuesday morning. Although police were almost certain that the remains were Morgan on Tuesday,they confirmed it Wednesday morning through dental records.
The story was for the Roanoke Times, the hometown paper for Dan and Gil Harrington, Morgan's parents. The couple, along with their son Alex, were in Charlottesville to speak to the media.
The Harringtons spoke about having some resolution and seeing their daughter's remains... Gil Harrington said that her daughter even had "lovely bones." They talked of being relieved to have a body to bury and said they are now focusing on finding Morgan's killer and a way to memorialize their daughter.
I admire their courage to hold a press conference so soon after discovering their daughter was dead. I'm not sure I would or could have done the same thing had I been in their shoes.
I spent 12 years covering courts and crime so I heard many parents talk about their dead children. All of those stories hold some memory in my mind and when I think about the most memorable cases, I think what those parents are still going through today.
Two of my former editors lost their own children to violence - both homicides - and their stories are clear in my memory. Morgan Harrington, like Mike Weaver and Micheal McQueen, were not what most people would consider candidates for meeting such violent ends.
It just goes to show you that we are all vulnerable to vioience.