Missing College Student Hannah Graham Seen on Video Being Followed
09/18/2014 AT 04:50 PM EDT
At about 9:30 p.m. Friday, the 18-year-old student left her off-campus apartment to meet friends for dinner. At about 11 p.m., she left by herself and visited an apartment followed by a house party, according to police.
It was the last time she was seen until days later, when surveillance videos captured her running near a gas station and then walking through the Downtown Mall, a pedestrian mall filled with shops and cafes in the historic area of Charlottesville, Virginia.
Graham's parents, who reported their daughter missing, have not spoken but issued a statement through the police department.
"It is totally out of character for us not to have heard from her, and we fear foul play," according to the statement.
Capt. Gary Pleasants of the Charlottesville police department told reporters that at 1:06 a.m., a surveillance video shows a white male, who "glances briefly over his shoulder, then steps into a doorway and stops." Graham walks by the doorway and the white male steps out and follows her, he added.
After officials released surveillance video, the unidentified white male went to the police. Officials say the witness told police that Graham was greeted by a black male and put his arm around her.
"It appeared to the witness that the black male was either known to Ms. Graham or was trying to help her," says police. "The witness then walked away and he said that Ms. Graham and the black male were still standing and talking when he left. The black male is not shown in either of these videos."
The white male, who was not identified, told police that Graham "looked to be somewhat physically distressed and he wanted to make sure she got safely to wherever she was going."
At a press conference Wednesday, Police Chief Timothy Longo said it appeared Graham had been drinking, based on friends accounts, but was quick to add people should not "attack her character." Instead, Longo pleaded for someone to call with information.
"I'd be very disturbed that someone on this Downtown Mall did not see that young lady, or has not called the police to report that they did," he said. "I'm hoping that they're hearing my words and seeing my frustration, hearing the pain that this family is experiencing, pick up the phone and tell us something, regardless of how insignificant you think it might be."
For now, the city continues to search for the missing woman, while Graham's parents are forced to wait for any type of news.
"Hannah is beyond precious to us and we are truly devastated by her disappearance," their statement said. "We will not rest until we find her, and she comes home."
Authorities describe Graham as 5 feet, 11 inches tall, with a slender build, blue eyes, light brown hair and freckles. Anyone with more information is urged to contact the police tip line at (434) 295-3851.