Dec 8, 2009

Body found a mile from campus

by Cat Hewett

A Liberty student hiking near Camp Hydaway Road around 3:30 p.m. on Sunday Nov. 29, discovered the decomposed body of a young woman.

WDBJ 7 reported that the Liberty student saw clothes along the road that led him to the remains.

The remains were later identified on Tues., Dec. 1, using dental and other medical records, as Cassandra Morton, 23, of Lynchburg who was reported missing Oct. 14, four days after her family had last seen her, according to the News and Advance.

Investigators with the Campbell County Police said the cause of death has not yet been determined, but they are treating the case as a homicide, according to the Richmond Times-Dispatch.

The Liberty University Police Department (LUPD) helped the Campbell County Police Department during the early stages of the investigation.

“We took the original call and had an officer assisting Campbell County with the recovery of the evidence,” LUPD Police Chief Richard Hinkley said.

Morton was last seen at 10 p.m., Oct. 10 around the Park Avenue area in Lynchburg, according to WDBJ 7.

There was some speculation in the first hours after the discovery that the body could have been Morgan Harrington, a Virginia Tech student who went missing after a Metallica concert Oct. 17.

Investigators told the Roanoke Times that they did not believe the body to be Harrington because the clothes did not match what she was last seen wearing.

The News and Advance reported that the land where Morton was found is owned by Liberty University, but it does not appear that Morton was killed on campus.

Morton was a mother of two young girls, ages two and three.
“I tell you it’s going to be a long time before we get over it. I tell you, she is really missed, I cry every day, all day long,” Morton’s grandmother Gracie Morton said. “I tried to get her to go with me home and stay with me and get her off these streets but she wouldn’t go. She wouldn’t go. If she had went with me home, she would have been here today.”

The time and date for the memorial service has not been determined, but it will be held at Tree of Life Ministries in Lynchburg.

Contact Cat Hewett at


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