Police Capture Man Charged in Case of Missing Student Hannah Graham

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Jesse Leroy Matthew Jr.

City of Charlottesville/Reuters/Landov

09/24/2014 AT 09:15 PM EDT



Jesse Leroy Matthew Jr., the man charged in the case of missing 18-year-old University of Virginia student Hannah Graham, was arrested in Galveston, Texas, police said Wednesday.

As Graham's friends and family held vigils for her safe return, Charlottesville Police Chief Timothy Longo announced the arrest at a press conference Wednesday night and told reporters, "This case is nowhere near over."

Matthew is in police custody in Texas, police said. He will be extradited to Virginia.

On Tuesday, police charged Matthew with abduction with intent to defile. Police say they believe he was the last person to have been seen with the 18-year-old sophomore in Charlottesville, Virginia, in the early hours of Sept. 13, when she disappeared.

Matthew was seen at about 1 a.m. that night on surveillance tapes, following Graham at a pedestrian shopping mall before putting his arm around her waist.

Eyewitnesses told police that Matthew and Graham went to Tempo, a popular restaurant and bar in Charlottesville, Longo said. He said he believes Graham left the restaurant with Matthew.

Police have been looking for Matthew since Sept. 20, when he voluntarily came to the Charlottesville Police Department. Matthew, who was initially a person of interest in the case, asked for a lawyer and then, through his attorney, declined to answer questions.

He was charged with two counts of reckless driving after he sped away from the station, leading officers on a high speed chase before vanishing.

Investigators obtained a search warrant for Matthew's apartment and removed "specific" clothing they were looking for in his home, Longo said Tuesday morning on CNN's New Day. The clothing has been sent to a lab for analysis, he said.

Matthew has worked as a patient technician at the University Medical Center on the school's campus since 2012.



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