Police seek help finding missing student
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. — Police are asking property owners in this city and throughout nearby rural Albemarle County to look for any signs of missing University of Virginia student Hannah Graham, hoping that they can locate her after nearly two weeks of searching.
Police Chief Timothy Longo said during a news conference Thursday that searchers have combed through most of this college town and are moving south into surrounding farms and woodland. He urged real estate agents and others to look in and around vacant homes and buildings in an effort to find the teenager, who has been missing since Sept. 13.
Longo said Graham had an iPhone 5S with a pink case that has not been found, and he said people should report anything they see that seems out of the ordinary on their properties, including unexpected tire tracks, clothing or other evidence that might help police find her.
“We have no idea where she is, despite our best efforts,” Longo said. “Everyone realizes the more time that goes by, the more difficult this is going to become for everyone. I can't lose hope until I have to, until I need to, until it's appropriate to transition this into some other type of operation. I have hope, and I think Hannah's mom and dad have hope.”
Longo said that he wants anyone who knows Jesse “LJ” Matthew Jr., 32, who is charged with abducting Graham, to help identify spots that Matthew frequented. Police asked for help finding places where Matthew likes to fish, for example. A reward of $100,000 is being offered for information leading to the safe return of the 18-year-old university sophomore from Fairfax County.
Charlottesville investigators on Thursday arrived in Galveston, Texas, where Matthew appeared in court after he was arrested on a beach Wednesday afternoon. Longo said Charlottesville police will not approach Matthew about the case because he has invoked his right to consult with an attorney.