Medical Examiner Confirms Hannah Graham's Remains Found in AlbemarlePosted: Updated: Oct 25, 2014 11:38 AM
The medical examiner's office in Richmond has now confirmed that the human remains discovered on October 18 in Albemarle County are those of missing University of Virginia second-year student Hannah Graham.
Police say Graham was last seen on Charlottesville's downtown mall in the early morning hours of September 13. Her remains were found on an abandoned property off Old Lynchburg Road in Albemarle County last Saturday - five weeks after she was last seen.
Police released a statement Friday afternoon announcing the ID confirmation. Police notified Graham's parents following the positive identification from the medical examiner's office.
Graham's parents, John and Sue Graham, released a statement regarding the identification. In the statement, the Graham's say that they are devastated by the loss of their daughter and thank law enforcement for their unwavering efforts. They thank Charlottesville Police Chief Tim Longo, saying, " due to the tenacity and determination of Chief Longo, Hannah is coming home to us and we will be eternally grateful to him for this." Read the statement in full below.
Jim Camblos, Jesse Matthew's attorney, also released a statement Friday on behalf of Matthew's family. Matthew is facing an abduction with intent to defile charge in connection with the Graham case. Police say he has also been forensically linked to the Morgan Harrington case from 2009. He was indicted of charges related to a sexual assault in Fairfax in 2005 earlier this week.
In the statement, Camblos says "The Carrs asked me to convey that they will continue to pray for the Graham's and the Harrington's throughout this ordeal." Read the full statement below.
Friday, Students at UVA offered their condolences to Graham's friends and family. They say the news is heartbreaking. "Everyone here feels for her family, for her friends. I guess it's nice that at least there's some kind of closure, because it's just been this sort of waiting game. I think it's been hard for a lot of people here," said student Kristen Vretakis.
The students we spoke to Friday said they are proud of UVA and the city of Charlottesville for working together with the goal of bringing Graham home.
Police are not saying at this point how and when Graham died, or how she ended up on the property in Albemarle. Police say they will now move forward with the death investigation and ask people to continue to call with tips or any information regarding the case. The Charlottesville Police Department tip line remains open at 434-295-3851.