Morgan Harrington's Parents Grateful for Closure

01/29/2010 AT 08:40 AM EST

As police continue their hunt for the perpetrator or perpetrators responsible for the death of 20-year-old Virginia Tech student Morgan Harrington, her parents, Gil and Daniel Harrington appeared on Friday's Today show and, from their Roanoke, Va., home, spoke with remarkable focus and grace about their loss.

Specifically, they stressed the sense of closure they now feel with the discovery of their daughter's remains, which had been found in a Virginia hayfield this week following her Oct. 17 disappearance from a Metallica concert.

"This has been a horrific three months," said Daniel Harrington, "and this is not the end that we wanted, but closure is really important. There is some peace we have at this point. We are very sad, and obviously we would love for our daughter to be alive. But closure is very important."

"It has been like a wound," said Gil Harrington, "a huge wound. But until this point, it had been a festering wound that could not heal. You know, we still have a healing to do, but it's possible because, having recovered our daughter's body gives us peace. I know no one is hurting her now, that she is beyond pain."

At the site of the discovery, Morgan's mother has used the expression "lovely bones" to describe her daughter. To Today's Meredith Vieira, she explained, "I have reviewed images of my daughter from her pre-natal ultrasounds to looking at her empty eye sockets of her cranium. Yes, I have seen … lovely bones. Lovely girl."

With police treating the case as a homicide, Gil Harrington also noted that while her husband seeks justice and punishment for whomever is responsible, that is not her own chief desire. She simply wants the perpetrator to be caught, for safety measures, to prevent other victims and survivors from suffering the pain.

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