One week after discovering Morgan Harrington's skeletal remains on a farm, authorities announced that her death is now considered a homicide.
The medical examiner's office made the determination but did not indicate the manner in which she was killed.
Due to the length of time the body was left outdoors, the deterioration of the remains may have made it difficult to determine the manner of death.
Virginia State Police confirmed via dental records a week earlier that the remains found on a farm in Albemarle County, Va., were Morgan's.
A farmer in that area went to a remote part of his farm to check out the area's conditions due to heavy rains. Upon discovery of the remains, the farmer notified authorities. The farm is located approximately 10 miles from where Morgan was last seen in October 2009.
Authorities are continuing their investigation to deduce the manner and time of death. Police at the farm are looking for additional evidence that could give clues as to what -- or who -- killed Morgan. Cops declined to comment on the nature of the evidence.
As for Dan and Gil Harrington, Morgan's parents, they say the sadness comes with a sense of relief: "Our questions can now be answered, and we can give our daughter a proper burial."
Police are still soliciting tips on how Morgan might have ended up in the area where she was found.