Metallica’s lead singer James Hetfield is helping the FBI track down a killer in a cold case. In a public service announcement, Hetfield makes a personal appeal for clues in the death of a young fan who disappeared after a Metallica concert in 2009.
Morgan Harrington, 20, was last seen trying to hitch a ride after the concert on the University of Virginia campus in Charlottesville on Oct. 17, 2009. Her body was found three months later on a remote farm in Albemarle County, Va., about 10 miles south of the concert venue. Harrington’s killer was never found, but DNA tied the murder to a sexual assault in Fairfax County Virginia in 2005. According to the Associated Press, a woman walking home from a grocery story in 2005 “reported being grabbed from behind, dragged behind a maintenance shed and attacked.” The victim in that case was able to work with an artist to develop a sketch of the still-unknown suspect.
On Wednesday, the FBI released new, enhanced sketches of the suspect and announced a reward of up to $150,000 – $100,000 from the Harrington family and $50,000 from Metallica — for information leading to an arrest and conviction in the murder investigation. The reward, and the Hetfield video, are part of an FBI multimedia campaign to find Harrington’s killer, which also includes information on social media sites such as Twitter and Facebook as well as flyers, posters and electronic billboards in Virginia and along the East Coast.
“Remember, any information — no matter how small you might think it is — could be that crucial piece investigators need to help solve the case,” Hetfield says in the new PSA. Law enforcement agencies are asking anyone with information to contact the FBI at1-800-CALL-FBI (1-800-225-5324) or the Virginia State Police Tip line at 434-352-3467.
This isn’t Metallica’s first foray into crimefighting. The group contributed a song to the soundtrack to Paradise Lost: The Child Murders at Robin Hood Hills, a documentary about the West Memphis Three. They’ve also sued fans for illegally downloading their songs via Napster.