In Virginia, a search party has started to work with canine units in the hunt for missing University of Virginia sophomore, Hannah Graham. Her alleged abductor is now back in the hands of law enforcement after he had apparently been on the run. Jesse Matthew Jr. was returned to the state from Texas after he bolted from Virginia. He was released out of a Texas county jail and extradited back to Charlottesville on Friday evening, stated a city spokesperson by the name of Miriam Dickler.
Police Captain Aaron Carver of the Charlottesville-Albermarle Regional Jail explained that Matthew was in custody there. The hospital worker, age 32, was expected to make his first appearance in court this coming Thursday to face a judge with charges of abduction along with the intent to defile or sexually molest.
Mark Eggeman, who is the coordinator for the search and rescue effort by the Virginia Department of Emergency Management, explained that he is in charge of leading a group of around 20 professionally trained individuals and canines. The hunt for Graham has mainly centered around Charlottesville and the neighboring region but they plan to expand on that.
Eggeman noted that they have had people working on the search party each day since Graham went missing. He stated that the Emergency Management group has kept a presence on the scene searching each day since the event happened. They have never stopped looking for Hannah.
Graham disappeared back on Sept. 13. She was last spotted on grainy surveillance videos walking alone through the Charlottesville Downtown Mall. Law enforcement stated that she met up with some friends at a restaurant to have dinner on Sept. 12 before they all went to two parties that were both off-campus. Hannah was reported to have left the second party by herself and in time sent one of her friends a text that stated she was lost, according to the police.
Brice Cunningham, who is the owner of a popular downtown area Charlottesville restaurant known as Tempo, stated that one of the restaurant’s door monitors saw Graham, who appeared to be incapacitated, leaving the place with Matthew. The suspect, age 32, is an operating room technician who is employed at the university’s hospital. He was reported to have been at the restaurant’s bar earlier that evening, noted Cunningham. While attending classes at Liberty College back in 2002, Matthew was blamed for the rape of a student on that campus, but the charge was dropped, stated Lynchburg Commonwealth’s Attorney Michael Doucette on Friday.
In Alexandria, Virginia, which is Hannah’s hometown, yellow ribbons adorn trees up and down the streets as friends and family members continue to hold on the hope that she will be found safe and sound. One Charlottesville resident declared that the entire event was very frustrating. She had participated in one of the volunteer searches for Hannah last weekend and stated that she just wanted to hear that she had been found and that she was well and fine.
Graham had come to the United States from Britain when she was around age 6, stated her old softball coach from West Potomac High School. Hannah is described as being very intelligent, witty, polite and having a dry British sense of humor. Everyone is hoping that this search party will come up with some new leads as to where Hannah Graham might be.
By Kimberly Ruble