Last year, residents of Virginia were saddened by news of a missing University of Virginia student, Hannah Graham. As Graham’s remains were found in October of last year, officials worked hard on presenting a case for court against the accused, Jesse Matthew Jr. who police believed was responsible for Graham’s murder. As the trial has now been set with an official court date, the suspect Jesse Matthew has been charged and could be found guilty of the murder of Hannah Graham, former student of University of Virginia.
It was just last year when residents of Virginia were searching for the missing student who had gone out for a night with friends only to turn up missing. Her parents begged for information for months, hoping that some trace of their daughter would turn up. As evidence began to surface, police officially arrested one Jesse Matthew in relation to Hannah’s disappearance. Matthew, a former hospital worker and supposed part-time cab driver, was believed to have met up with Hannah, according to witness testimony. Though events of what happened that night are still unclear, surveillance can be seen of Hannah in a mall and then witness testimony places her at a bar with Matthew, later. It was also reported that she sent her friends several text messages stating that she was lost. After Matthew was arrested in relation to Hannah Graham, police began also trying to make a case against Matthew for an earlier disappearance of a University of Virginia student, Morgan Harrington, who disappeared after seeing a Metallica concert. Though no charges were officially taken to court for Harrington as evidence was not strong enough, though forensics do link him to her death, Hannah Graham’s family can now be assured that justice has been served.
Albemarle County Police and the Commonwealth Attorney’s office has scheduled a press conference for Tuesday morning, where they will discuss matters of the court case. The charges filed were for first-degree murder. Matthew has previously been charged with sexual assault and was originally arrested for kidnapping with intent to defile in the case for Hannah Graham. Though he plead not guilty in all charges that have been brought against him, the court may find Jesse Matthew guilty of first-degree murder for Hannah Graham, with sufficient evidence linking him to her.
Morgan Harrington, who went missing in 2009, and whose remains were found relatively close to where Hannah Graham’s remains were found, has not had justice yet. Investigators are reportedly still working on surfacing all of the evidence, though with many years past, the task could prove difficult, if not impossible. After Graham’s disappearance, Morgan’s parents Gill and Dan Harrington created an organization called Help Save the Next Girl, where missing UVA students and other missing Virginia women are listed. The organization supposedly tracks information and case details about the missing women, hoping that it will lead to a safe recovery of one or more of them. With more than twelve women abducted in five years, some of them being UVA students, and some of them turning up murdered, Gil Harrington believed that there was some type of connection between a few of the missing, including a strong likeness of her daughter’s disappearance and Graham’s.
Though police have seen abductions and murders of many young women around the University of Virginia area, since 2009, they do not believe that there is any need for women in the area to be concerned, just cautious. Now that Jesse Matthew is being officially tried for the former University of Virginia student’s murder, it is one less ‘predator’ that women in Virginia will have to worry about.
By Crystal Boulware