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Waynesboro Police Sgt. Provides Insight on Graham Search Efforts

Posted: Updated: Sep 23, 2014 05:36 PM
Crews search for Hannah Graham Crews search for Hannah Graham
Jesse Matthew Jesse Matthew
Hannah Graham Hannah Graham
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) -

While police track down Jesse Matthew, the man police have declared a person of interest in the Hannah Graham case, search and rescue teams are still combing the Charlottesville area for any trace of the missing University of Virginia student.

Graham was last seen on September 13. Police believe Matthew was the last person seen with Graham on Charlottesville's downtown mall before her disappearance. According to police, Matthew went to the Charlottesville Police Department Saturday with several family members. He asked for a lawyer, and was given one, but left without speaking to officers. After he left the Police Department, Virginia State Police were following Matthew in Albemarle County. When he fled at a high rate of speed, police had to end surveillance.

Tuesday, a Waynesboro police officer is offering some insight as to what investigators may be thinking.

Graham was last seen over a week ago, and investigators have widened the grid they're searching from along Preston Avenue to much of the surrounding areas. Now, they're really just waiting for that next major lead that will help them focus the search.

Tuesday, investigators searched densely wooded areas of the city. Both investigators and volunteers have been looking for any trace of evidence they could find.

“That's where you really try to find that little bit of information, maybe a discarded receipt, maybe a cigarette butt, something that might have DNA, something that might belong to the victim,” said Sgt. Brian Edwards of the Waynesboro Police Department. “Time is ticking because once that trail has been tainted, or tampered with, then everything is corrupted at that point.”

Edwards and his team recently dealt with a high-profile missing person case when Waynesboro Police Reserve Captain Kevin Quick disappeared last year.

Edwards believes tips from the public are important in cracking a case like this. Charlottesville Police Chief Tim Longo continues to ask that anyone with information about the case come forward and call the tip line at 434-295-3851.

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