Hannah Graham's Parents Make Emotional Plea for Help From Community

Posted: Updated: Sep 21, 2014 10:58 PM
Hannah Graham's parents, John and Susan Graham Hannah Graham's parents, John and Susan Graham
Jesse Matthew Jesse Matthew
Jesse Matthew Jesse Matthew
Jesse Matthew's Car Jesse Matthew's Car
Jesse Matthew's Car Jesse Matthew's Car
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - We are now hearing from the parents of 18-year-old Hannah Graham, the University of Virginia student who vanished more than a week ago. An emotional Charlottesville Police Chief Tim Longo and the parents of Graham faced the media late Sunday afternoon at a press conference to demand answers in Hannah's disappearance. 

Chief Longo released new investigation details about a person of interest seen with Graham Friday night on Charlottesville's downtown mall. He publicly named the person of interest they're looking for as Jesse Matthew. Matthew was seen walking with Hannah Graham in security footage from businesses on Charlottesville's downtown mall. Witnesses say the last place he was seen with Graham was at Tempo restaurant early in the morning on Saturday September 13.

"I believe Jesse Matthew was the last person she was seen with before she vanished off the face of the earth because it's been a week and we can't find her,” said Longo.

Chief Longo said Matthew showed up at police headquarters Saturday afternoon to talk with investigators. He said he asked for a lawyer and spent about an hour inside the station. Longo said detectives got nothing out of Matthew because he didn't talk but arrest warrants are now out for him.  

Longo said authorities were tailing Matthew in Albemarle County when he took off in a car at a high rate of speed and police had to back off. Matthew is now charged with two counts of reckless driving.

"Virginia State Police have obtained arrest warrants for Jesse Matthew, charging him with reckless driving - 2 counts because he had somebody in the car with him," Chief Longo stated.

On Friday police raided Matthew's Hessian Hills apartment and seized his car. Police released pictures of the car Sunday hoping people will come forward. They also says forensic testing should be complete either Monday or Tuesday.

Police did confirm they used a helicopter with infrared Saturday night in the search for Hannah Graham. Police say they have received 900 tips and have talked to 75 people at this point.

Hannah Graham's parents put a call out to the community. Hannah's father, John Graham, said, "We need to find out what happened to Hannah and make sure it doesn't happen to anybody else."

Hannah's father described the havoc her disappearance has brought on their family. "Think of our parents as well, Hannah's grandparents. They are literally an ocean away and they're not knowing what happened to their little girl, their little granddaughter, and they're unable to help, and it's awful for them,"

Graham thanked the community for its support, and asked for more help to bring Hannah home. "Did you see Hannah? Did you see Hannah, did you see Hannah? Who saw Hannah? Somebody did. Please please please if you have anything, however insignificant you think it may be, call the police tip line," he stated.

If you know anything about the Hannah Graham case, or if you know where Jesse Matthew is, please call the dedicated tip line for this case at 434 - 295 - 3851.

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