CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA. (Oct. 18, 2014) — The search for Hannah Graham has been canceled after police found remains which they believe may be that of the missing and presumed murdered woman from Charlottesville.
Albemarle County Police released the following statement earlier this evening:
“At approximately noon Saturday, Oct. 18, 2014, a search team located human remains on abandoned property in southern Albemarle County. Albemarle County Police, City of Charlottesville Police and Virginia State Police have spent the afternoon preserving the scene and processing evidence.
“At about 12 p.m. Saturday, a team of volunteers with the Chesterfield County, Va., Sheriff’s Office was searching an abandoned property along Old Lynchburg Road when they discovered the remains. The remains will be transported to the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner in Richmond for examination, autopsy and identification.
“Right now we have the discovery of human remains and a great deal of work ahead of us,” said Col. Steve Sellers, Albemarle County Police chief. “We cannot and will not jump to any conclusions regarding today’s discovery. I ask for the public’s patience as we move forward and pursue what is now a new, ongoing death investigation.”
“Albemarle County Police are asking anyone who recalls seeing any suspicious activity or vehicles along or in the vicinity of Old Lynchburg Road, to contact the Albemarle County Police Department at 434-296-5807.
“The public search for Hannah Graham scheduled for Walnut Creek Park tomorrow has been canceled. Authorities are focusing their attention on recent evidence, which limits law enforcement resources necessary to carry out a public search. Thank you for your consideration and patience.”
The person of interest in the disappearance of Graham was identified by police as Jesse Matthew Jr. He has since been connected by DNA evidence to the murder of one woman and rape of another. He was a student at Liberty University and was accused of rape of a student but not prosecuted in that rape due to the victim declining to cooperate.
Police report that they found the body of 20-year-old Virginia Tech student Morgan Harrington on the same farm where the possible Graham remains were found and previously reported that Matthew has been connected “forensically” to the Harrington murder.