An arrest warrant has been issued for the man thought to have been the last person seen with Hannah Graham, who is the University of Virginia student who went missing on Sept. 13. Jesse Matthew refused to answer any law enforcement questions surrounding her disappearance, stated a Charlottesville police chief. Chief Timothy Longo explained to the media that Matthew came into the police station on his own accord on Saturday, along with numerous family members.
Matthew asked about and was also appointed an attorney, and then took off in a vehicle without saying anything about his meeting with Graham, age 18. The student was seen last in the early morning hours of Sept. 13 in Charlottesville. Police investigators had wanted to question Matthew after they viewed him taking a walk with Graham on a business video tape the night she vanished.
The police chief stated that Matthew did not share any information with police. There was cordial conversation between him and law enforcement but there was nothing said that had anything to do with Graham, any meetings he had with her, words that might have been exchanged or any time that he spent with her. They got no information from him whatsoever, even though he was right inside police headquarters.
Chief Longo added that Charlottesville police do not know anything more about Graham’s disappearance now than they did before he came in the door. At that time, Chief Longo noted that Matthew was free to leave the police station because law enforcement had no probable cause to arrest him.
However, the man who is thought to have been the last one to see Graham alive is now being sought after on an arrest warrant which charges him with misdemeanor reckless driving. Police investigators consider Matthew to be the last individual to see Graham before she went missing. They now want Matthew to tell the police his story.
The police chief told the media that Matthew took off from the police station in an automobile that was moving at high speed. Law enforcement believed that vehicle was traveling at a speed that threatened the safety of other drivers. The Virginia State Police explained in an email on Sunday evening that State Troopers had been doing surveillance on the automobile at the time, but did not follow Matthew.
Charlottesville police stated they have been focusing on Graham’s activities the evening of Sept. 12 and into the early morning on Sept. 13. Graham, who is a sophomore college student from the northern part of Virginia, had met up with friends to have dinner at a restaurant. The crowd went to two different parties located away from the college. She decided to leave the second party by herself, declared police. Videos taken from area businesses appear to next show Graham walking and also running at various times past a gas station and then she ends up at the Downtown Mall. It is a strip mall which is about seven blocks long and is lined with restaurants and various shops.
Chief Longo said that somebody knows where Graham is and law enforcement want to know just exactly who the person(s) is or are. However, he added that the police department wanted to avoid getting tunnel vision just because they had come up with a name or just because they happened to see her with a certain individual.
Graham’s parents spoke at a news conference and her father, John Graham, pleaded for any person with information to call the police crime tip hotline. Mr. Graham exclaimed that Hannah’s disappearance was every parent’s worst nightmare come to life. There were over 1,000 helpers who showed up for a search this past weekend for Hannah Graham, noted Charlottesville law enforcement. Graham’s vanishing has caused a flow of silent terror through the quiet university town. Students said they have started walking in pairs or groups during evening hours and are paying closer attention to their respective environments.
University of Virginia president, Teresa Sullivan, sent out a press release on Sunday explaining that the college was dedicated to helping law enforcement in the search for Graham. Jesse Matthew, who is thought to have been the last person seen with Graham, and refused to answer any law enforcement questions surrounding her disappearance, is now wanted on an arrest warrant.
By Kimberly Ruble