Volunteers Continue to Search For Missing UVA Student Hannah Graham
Volunteer search crews were out Sunday night for day two of the public search for missing University of Virginia student Hannah Graham. Teams assembled early Sunday morning at John Paul Jones Arena to receive their new assignments.
Virginia Department of Emergency Management says there were not as many volunteers Sunday as there were Saturday, but that doesn't mean any areas in the county were overlooked.
Search Coordinator Mark Eggeman said, "Yesterday went very smoothly. Whatever small problems, glitches we've had we've learned from that, we're a little bit more efficient today."
Sunday's search teams are praying, and hoping they'll find something.
"I would there say we've gotten 60 or 65 percent of the city covered and I think we're going to finish it today,” said Eggeman.
Search Team Leader Tycho Knudson said, "I'm optimistic that we'll add to the search effort, but you can only hope."
Sorting through the pros and cons of Saturday's search, as well as assigning new areas to look, were tasks Virginia Department of Emergency Management organizers know will ultimately help police.
VDEM Spokeswoman Dawn Eischen said, “Our role here really is to just gather up as many clues as possible while we're out there searching and get that to police as soon as possible so they can continue their investigation."
Nine trained search and rescue teams, alongside police use tracking dogs to cover even more ground in Charlottesville and Albemarle County.
Albemarle County Sheriff Chip Harding said, "You want to pay attention to a dog that alerts or appears to be on track. Doesn't mean he is or isn't necessarily, but you want to pay attention to it. About 30 percent of the time they yield a clue."
Police say in thick brush or ravines, dogs can find what people can miss.
"Could be a telephone. Could be a watch, a shoe or it could yield a person,” said Harding.
Search coordinators appreciate the teamwork the community has shown for Graham.
"It really does take a whole community to find someone like this and in situations like this we need all the help we can get."
The lead search coordinator says he expects to have covered 85 percent of the city by dusk. The effort will continue after Sunday night using trained searchers rather than volunteers.