Saturday, October 25, 2014

Virginia: Remains Found Confirmed as Being Those of UK-Born Hannah Graham, 18

According to The Associated Press, the remains found nearly a week ago in a rural area of Virginia are those of a British-born UVA university sophomore Hannah Graham, 18, who disappeared on the night of September 13 after a night out with friends.
The state Medical Examiner's office in Richmond confirmed that the remains were in fact Hannah Graham's, the Albermarle County Police Department said in a statement.

Hannah Graham, 18, disappeared September 13 after a night out with friends. The remains were found October 18 about 12 miles (19 kilometers) from the Charlottesville campus, in a heavily wooded area of Albemarle County that is home to rolling hills and horse farms.
The man Graham was last seen with, Jesse Leroy Matthew Jr., 32, has been charged with abduction with intent to defile Graham. His attorney, Jim Camblos, said in a voicemail greeting that he is not answering questions about the case.
COMMENT: The remains were discovered roughly six miles (9.6 kilometers) from where the body of 20-year-old Virginia Tech student Morgan Harrington was found after she vanished in 2009. 

Police have said forensic evidence connects Matthew to Harrington's killing, which in turn is linked by DNA to a 2005 sexual assault in northern Virginia. Matthew has been charged in the 2005 case.
"When we started this journey together we all hoped for a happier ending. Sadly that was not to be," Graham's parents, John and Sue Graham, said in a statement provided by the police department. "We are devastated by the loss of our beautiful daughter...Although we have lost our precious Hannah, the light she radiated can never be extinguished."
--View galleryGraham's parents also thanked those involved with the investigation and search efforts — singling out Charlottesville Police Chief Tim Longo for his "tenacity and determination — as well as those who have sent messages of support. They said they don't intend to make further statements or comment on the ongoing criminal investigation.
Graham moved from England to Virginia at age 5.
Albemarle County Commonwealth's Attorney Denise Lunsford said in a statement that the focus of the investigation now is to determine "what charges will be brought and the appropriate time to make those charges."
Graham's disappearance prompted many UVA students to begin walking in pairs or groups at night. Also, the Charlottesville campus expanded a ride service for its students.
"For Hannah's young life to end so tragically, and for her destiny of promise to be left unfulfilled, is an affront to the sanctity of life and to the natural order of human events," university President Teresa A. Sullivan said in a statement Friday evening. "This is a sorrowful day in the life of the university, and our entire community is grieving with the Graham family."
Before the start of a men's soccer game between Virginia and Wake Forest on Friday night, the announcer at Klockner Stadium asked everyone to observe a moment of silence to "remember a young life cut short."
Graham met friends at a restaurant for dinner September 12 before stopping at two off-campus parties. She left the second party alone and eventually texted a friend saying she was lost, authorities said.
In surveillance video, she can be seen walking unsteadily and even running at times, past a pub and a service station and then onto a seven-block strip of bars, restaurants and shops.
Matthew was an operating room technician at the university's hospital. He was also a former college football player and intermittant cab driver.
Friends have said they were shocked the "gentle giant" could be suspected of such violence.
Matthew was co-captain of his high school football team and continued to play football in college, although he dropped out of two universities following accusations of rape against him. He was never charged.
The victim in the 2005 rape in the Washington, DC, suburbs is cooperating with authorities, Fairfax County Commonwealth's Attorney Ray Morrogh has said.

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