Charlottesville Police Chief Relentless in Mission to Find Hannah Graham
Oct 05, 2014 06:42 PM
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) -
Charlottesville's police chief remains relentless in his mission to find missing University of Virginia student Hannah Graham.
Sunday more than 100 law enforcement officers from departments across central Virginia joined trained search and rescue teams to scour Albemarle County for Graham.
Convoys of police officers and searchers hit the ground running Sunday morning at 8 a.m. to cover rural areas of western and eastern Albemarle County. With hundreds of boots on the ground, investigators are hoping, something will turn up.
Charlottesville Police Chief Tim Longo said, “Every square inch of Albemarle County is being searched this weekend and we're going to find Hannah Graham."
Longo is determined to find 18-year-old Hannah Graham. He says his promise to her parents is his motivation. "We have to find Hannah Graham. We've made that commitment to her parents, and we're going to honor that commitment,” said Longo.
Law enforcement agencies from across the commonwealth share Chief Longo's resolve. First Sergeant Mike Berry of Virginia State Police said, "This is a rescue effort. We're here to find Hannah and to bring Hannah home."
About 100 trained searchers and law enforcement officers combed more than 700 square miles of Albemarle County. The terrain isn't easy to navigate, even for the four legged searchers.
Canine Handler Sharon Johnson said, "It is proving to be a challenge. There's a lot of this stuff in this county and it's amazing, but we try to train for the environment we're going to be searching and Virginia is just that way, thick."
The more than 60 officers from Virginia State Police divided into 12 crews, looking for anything that could help Charlottesville investigators.
“You're looking for the bread crumbs, for the pieces of the puzzle. So you're looking for the cell phone, the shoes. Anything that will lead us and point us in Hannah's direction,” said Berry.
Virginia Department of Emergency Management coordinators say 2,400 search hours went into this weekend. Chief Longo urges property owners surrounding Charlottesville to add to that total.
"If you have not searched you property, get out this morning and do so. If you have a well on your property, search that well. If you have an abandoned structure on your property, search that structure,” said Longo.
Longo says he is not calling off any efforts until they find Hannah Graham.
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