On Saturday, authorities discovered human remains at an abandoned property approximately 10 miles outside Charlottesville VA. They are believed to belong to 18-year-old University of Virginia Student, Hannah Graham. According to authority reports, the student went missing last month.
“We cannot and we will not jump to any conclusions regarding today’s discovery, so I ask for the public’s patience as we move forward and pursue what is now a new, ongoing death investigation.” – Col. Steve Sellers
The remains will be sent to the state’s chief medical examiner in Richmond, who will also determine their identity. Chief Timothy J. Longo of the Charlottesville Police Department added that they have already made the “very difficult phone call” to Hannah’s parents earlier today. They were alerted of the discovery.
‘We wanted to be quick and timely to share information with the Graham family.” – Chief Timothy J. Longo
Authorities say that Ms. Graham, who grew up in Fairfax County, disappeared during the early hours of September 13. She was last seen downtown. A security camera caught footage of her at a pub. Less than 14 days later, Jesse Leroy Matthew Jr, a hospital employee, was arrested by Galveston, Tex. after being accused of the girl’s disappearance. Charges include abduction with intent of deviling and abuse. According to state reports, Ms. Graham was last seen with the 32-year-old man.
This is not the disappearance to which Jesse Leroy is connected. In 2009 he was involved in the disappearance of Morgan D. Harrington. Virginia State Police is confident that it has found a new “forensic link”. Ms. Harrington, 20, was a Virginia Tech Student who vanished from campus during a concert. Her remains were uncovered several months later, in early January near southern Albermarle County.
What is even more suspicious about Matthew is the fact that he arrived to Charlotsville a week after Graham vanished, but he wasn’t there for investigators to say anything.
Police officials believe that Saturday’s discovery is a major develpment. Col. Steve Sellers, chief of the Albermarle County police also added that the case has moved to the death investigation category. Residents and officials have gone to great lengths to find Hannah again. Chief Longo actually mentioned that this was an “unprecedented search”.
“Countless hours — thousands of hours — have been spent by literally hundreds of law enforcement and civilian volunteers in an effort to find Hannah. We think perhaps today proved their worth.