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Police Search for Missing UVA Student

Posted: Updated: Sep 15, 2014 11:03 PM
Graham, the night she was last seen, in a hallway in the building where she lived. Graham, the night she was last seen, in a hallway in the building where she lived.

Police are searching for clues to find a missing University of Virginia student, and turning to the community for help.

Friends and family reported 18-year-old Hannah Elizabeth Graham of Alexandria missing on Sunday when they realized they hadn't seen or heard from her since late Friday night/early Saturday morning. Charlottesville police say Graham had been drinking heavily and was last seen at 12:15 a.m. Saturday at a party in the area of 14th, 15th, and Wertland streets. Police spent much of Monday evening searching that area, as well as the nearby railroad tracks, but found nothing. Police are combing such a focused area because Graham does not have a car.

According to investigators, Graham talked with her friends via text messages around 1:30 Saturday morning but then her phone cut off and there were no more pings. Sources characterize Graham's text messages that night as normal. Her last message said she was lost in the area of 14th and Wertland. Police are looking at her phone records and computer for possible leads.

There are numerous surveillance cameras in the search area and police have collected a number of videos, including one of Graham leaving her apartment complex (photo shown at right).

Graham is described as approximately 5'11" tall with a skinny build, with blue eyes, light brown hair and freckles. She was last seen wearing a black crop top with mesh cutouts.

Charlottesville police started looking for Graham Sunday when she was reported missing.  "Detectives are out speaking with any person who had communication with her. Detectives are searching her phone records, bank accounts, computer, to see if there is any indication of where she might be,” said Captain Gary Pleasants of the Charlottesville Police Department.

On Sunday searchers used a bloodhound to try to track a scent but it turned up nothing. Searchers will likely bring in another bloodhound Tuesday.

Monday, the Virginia State Police joined the search.

Police hope the community will shed light on the case and help them find the young woman. “It is very likely that someone there, hopefully in the university, who did see her later and didn't realize that we didn't need to find her until now and hopefully we will hear from that person,” Pleasants stated.

Police want to hear from anyone who may have seen her or has any information as to where she may have been going. If you have information on this case, call Crime Stoppers at 434-977-4000.

In the midst of Graham's disappearance, UVA students say they're very concerned. Erin Haas and Elise Bottimore, two third-year UVA students who live on 14th Street, say life is very different when you don't live on grounds.

"Definitely being more conscious of where we are and realizing this isn't just a UVA dorm; this is a town where you are in the real world, where you have to be careful,” said Haas.

They say the news is terrifying, especially with police searching near their homes.

UVA President Teresa Sullivan released a statement about Graham Monday afternoon. In it, she said the UVA community is "united in our deep concern."  UVA has sent out an alert about the situation to the 40,000 people who make up the university community.


Charlottesville Police Department Press Release:

On Sunday September 14th at 4:34 pm, the Charlottesville Police Department received a call of a missing 18-year-old female UVA student. Hannah Elizabeth Graham was last seen Friday night/Saturday morning between midnight and 1 a.m.

On Sunday, her friends and family realized that none of them had seen or had contact with her since Friday night and a call was placed to the Emergency Communications Center by her friends, reporting her missing. The Charlottesville Police Department in turn notified the University of Virginia Police Department of the report.

Charlottesville Police detectives responded immediately and have been working to find Hannah since learning of her disappearance. A search using a bloodhound was conducted Sunday evening, but that search did not turn up anything useful.

If anyone has any information or has seen Hannah anytime from Friday night to the present, please call the Charlottesville Police Department at (434) 970-3280.


University of Virginia Police Statement:

The Charlottesville Police Department is investigating a missing person incident involving a University of Virginia student, Hannah Elizabeth Graham.

Hannah is a white female and 18 years old. She is approximately 5'11" tall with a skinny build. She has blue eyes, light brown hair and has freckles. She was last seen wearing a black crop top with mesh cut outs. The last contact she had with friends was via text message at 1:20 a.m. on September 13, 2014.

Anyone with information regarding Hannah is asked to contact the Charlottesville Police Department at 434-970-3280 or Crimestoppers at 434-977-4000.

Michael Gibson Chief, University Police


University of Virginia Statement Sent to Parents:

I am writing to alert you that the below message went out this morning to more than 40,000 members of the UVa community in Charlottesville—all students, faculty, and staff. We are deeply concerned about the whereabouts of Ms. Graham, and local law enforcement have been involved in an extensive search since learning of her disappearance.

To repeat from the below message: Anyone with information regarding Hannah is asked to contact the Charlottesville Police Department at 434-970-3280 or Crimestoppers at 434-977-4000.

Please keep Ms. Graham's family and friends in mind during this difficult situation. We will share more details as they become available.

Sincerely,
Patricia M. Lampkin
Vice President and Chief Student Affairs Officer


University of Virginia President Teresa Sullivan's Statement:

The members of the University of Virginia community are united in our deep concern for UVA student Hannah Elizabeth Graham, who is missing and has not been in touch with her family or friends since early Saturday morning. The Charlottesville Police Department is investigating this case, and has been conducting an extensive search since learning of Ms. Graham's disappearance. Our University Police Department was notified of the report Sunday evening, and this morning has contacted all students, faculty and staff to make them aware of the situation. Our Office of Student Affairs has provided this information to parents as well.

Anyone with information regarding Ms. Graham is asked to contact the Charlottesville Police Department at 434-970-3280 or Crimestoppers at 434-977-4000. A photograph of Ms. Graham may be found at this link: http://www.virginia.edu/graham/

We are hopeful that someone will come forward soon with information that will lead the authorities to Ms. Graham.

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