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Veteran Group Joins Search for Hannah Graham

Posted: Updated: Oct 16, 2014 06:10 PM
ALBEMARLE COUNTY, Va. (WVIR) -

Search teams looking for any signs of missing University of Virginia student Hannah Graham were back at it for the first time since Sunday. Now they're bringing in some fresh eyes from across the country.

Team Rubicon is joining the search for the first time. The national veteran-based group typically focuses on disaster relief, but wanted to answer this call for help.

About 10 members, including operations manager David Venables, joined the effort to search for Hannah Graham. Albemarle County commissioned them to come.

“We have never received that call before in our region to participate in a search and rescue effort,” said David Venables, Team Rubicon operations manager.

Team Rubicon's headquarters in Los Angeles approved the request, which made volunteers happy.

“We've actually had a really good turnout. Everybody in our organization is very excited and wants to participate,” Venables said. And more manpower is expected this weekend.

They're hoping for both resolution and justice.

“It's also a criminal case. There's someone who has been charged and that needs to come to a resolution as well,” said Mark Eggeman, Virginia Department of Emergency Management search coordinator.

Suspect Jesse Matthew is being held at the Albemarle-Charlottesville Regional Jail. He faces an abduction with intent to defile charge in connection with the case. In addition to signs of Graham, searchers are looking for articles of clothing Matthew was wearing that night she disappeared: a blue checkered shirt, light pants, and Crocs.

“We still continue to search to follow up some investigative leads. We have some good information that we are working on. We don't have anything yet but it still gives us hope,” Eggeman said.

Searchers took Monday and Tuesday to further map out the eight-mile radius of places they believe Graham might be. At a news conference Thursday, police also called on hunters heading out in the woods to keep an extra eye out.

As for funding the massive search effort, many people have been donating their time. Eggeman says other agencies involved have been absorbing the costs.

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