(CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va.) — The mother of a University of Virginia student who was abducted and slain in 2009 sees eerie similarities between her daughter’s death and the current disappearance of Hannah Graham.
Gil Harrington knows the agony that Graham’s parents are enduring. Her daughter, Morgan, disappeared from a Metallica concert in Charlottesville in 2009. Her body wasn’t found until months later and the murder remains unsolved.
What is also upsetting are the similarities to her daughter’s death.
“Hannah was seen for some of the time fairly close to where Morgan’s shirt was found maybe three weeks after her abduction,” she told ABC News.
She said there are other “coincidences” between the two students.
“College town, same town, same kind of look of a girl, same time of year,” she said. “Is this a pattern?”
Harrington said it would be “too speculative,” but she wondered whether the time of year is a trigger for a “predator” in the Charlottesville area “to go out and hurt somebody.”
“We know there’s one predator who killed Morgan,” she said. Harrington said the 2005 abduction and rape of a woman in Fairfax, Virginia, has been linked by DNA to her daughter’s killer.
Gil and Dan Harrington have helped create an organization called Help Save the Next Girl. It offers advice and tracks the disappearance and unsolved murders of girls. The group’s site lists five girls, including her daughter and Graham, from the Charlottesville area who have disappeared or have been killed since 2009. It also lists the cases of seven other Virginia women who disappeared or were killed in unsolved murders.
“Obviously they are not all connected, but it doesn’t seem normal. There’s either some connection of a serial predator or a crime spree gone crazy,” she said.
Charlottesville Police Chief Timothy Longo conceded earlier this week there are similarities between the death of Morgan Harrington and Graham’s disappearance.
“Both of them occurred within the proximity of the University of Virginia. Both of them are young girls,” the chief said.
Charlottesville Police Capt. Gary Pleasants on Thursday would not make any connection to the deaths or disappearance of the other women.
“We said all along there is no criminal activity yet. At this moment we still don’t know that there is any (criminal activity)…because we don’t know what happened yet,” Pleasants said.
Gil Harrington said she and her husband Dan are praying for Graham’s family.
“Our hearts go out to them,” she said.
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