Jesse Matthew to be Extradited to VA
The man charged with abducting missing University of Virginia second-year student Hannah Graham has been arrested in Texas and is awaiting extradition. There is still no sign of 18-year-old Graham, who was last seen on Sept. 13 in Charlottesville.
According to Charlottesville Police Chief Tim Longo, Jesse Leroy Matthew Jr., 32, was arrested Wednesday afternoon on a beach in the sparsely populated community of Gilchrist by Galveston County Sheriff's authorities. Police received a call reporting a suspicious person and a responding deputy found a man who had pitched a tent on the beach with his car parked nearby, the Galveston County Daily News reported. The car's plates matched those of the light blue Nissan Sentra Matthew was believed to be driving when he left Charlottesville.
The capture came less than a full day after Charlottesville police announced they had probable cause to arrest Matthew on charges of abduction with intent to defile in the Graham case. Matthew was last seen in Charlottesville on Saturday, and has been on the run since.
Thursday morning, Matthew appeared briefly before a Galveston County judge in Galveston County Magistrate Court via a video link from jail to hear the charges against him. In Texas, Matthew is charged with being a fugitive from justice and with giving false information to an officer, in addition to a count of abduction with intent to defile in Virginia. Judge Mark Henry set bond at $1,500 on the false information charge but held Matthew without bond on the fugitive count.
During his court appearance, Matthew asked the judge about the clothes he was wearing, saying “I should be able to have some kind of clothing,” and signed several papers. Judge Henry told him that his jumpsuit was sufficient clothing and that his personal items would be returned later.
Matthew went before a judge again Thursday afternoon for his extradition hearing. During the short hearing, Matthew waived his extradition, meaning he agreed to come back to Virginia and face charges. Virginia law enforcement officers will bring Matthew back to Virginia.
In a press conference Thursday evening in Galveston, Galveston County Sheriff Henry Trochesset said he didn't believe Matthew was camped out on the beach on the Bolivar Peninsula for more than a day. The car he was in was impounded and Trochesset said Virginia investigators began to search it Thursday.
Charlottesville police held another press conference on the Graham case Thursday afternoon. During the press conference, Charlottesville Police Chief Tim Longo reiterated that police still do not know where Graham is. “We have no idea, whatsoever, where she is,” he said.
Longo stated that law enforcement has no reason to believe that Graham is outside of Virginia. He said that their search is still focused in the city of Charlottesville and the surrounding areas.
He asked property owners and realtors to check their property and any cameras they may have.
He also asked that anyone who knows Matthew to come forward with information about the places he frequents, things he liked to do, and anything else that may aid in the investigation.
Matthew's father, Jesse Matthew Sr., says he hasn't been in touch with his son or his son's mother about the investigation yet, but he describes his son as helpful, and not a violent person.
Dave Henson, Matthew's former pastor from Calvary Chapel of Louisa, says he hopes police have the wrong man.
"I mean you think you know people but I don't know. It just breaks my heart. For her, I hope, I pray that she's found alive and that he didn't do this," Henson said.
During the press conference, Longo announced the creation of an email address where people can no send tips about the case. The email address is CPDtips@charlottesville.org.
Longo said police are now focused on preparing a case for trial while continuing their aggressive search for Graham.
Also on Thursday, Tempo restaurant in Charlottesville released a press release regarding the Hannah Graham case. Tempo is one of the last places Graham was seen the night of her disappearance. In the statement, Tempo's owner says Graham was never seen inside the restaurant and was never served. The owner says Graham was noticed by the door-person outside and was seen leaving with Matthew. During Thursday's press conference, Longo stated that police have at least one witness that puts Graham inside Tempo the night of her disappearance. Read the full statement below.
Police ask that if you know any information about the case, please call the tip line at 434-295-3851.
Tempo Restaurant Statement
The Tempo Restaurant family joins the entire Charlottesville community as it continues its search to find Hannah Graham and return her to her family. As longtime members of this unique city, we share the resolve to ensure that Charlottesville remains a safe and special place, and will continue to do absolutely everything we can possibly do to help uncover any facts that will bring Hannah home.
On Wednesday, September 17th, when the Charlottesville Police Department first released video that showed Hannah walking along the downtown mall at around 1 am, Tempo was able to immediately provide authorities with information that pinpointed the location of the Person of Interest, Mr. Matthew. Details of credit card receipts showed that he had made purchases at the bar shortly after midnight while Hannah was still making her way towards the downtown mall from Preston Avenue. Those records also confirm that he returned to Tempo at 1:10 am and left shortly after, although Ms. Graham was not seen inside the restaurant and was never served. She was, however, noticed by the door-person outside the restaurant at that time, and seen leaving with Matthew shortly thereafter.
These details helped police reconstruct Ms. Graham's movements and last known whereabouts.
Tempo will continue to assist and cooperate with law enforcement authorities in the ongoing investigation, and we urge anyone that might have information about these events, no matter how inconsequential it may seem, to please call the tip line at 434-295-3851.
Our focus remains on finding Hannah and returning her to her family, and neither the Tempo staff nor our friends and neighbors in this community will rest until that goal has been achieved.