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U.Va. Student Hannah Graham Still Missing Days After Suspect’s Arrest

Image:The Search for Hannah Graham

Volunteers search an area along Ivy Road Sunday, Sept. 21, 2014, during a massive search effort by the community to find missing UVa student Hannah Graham. Andrew Shurtleff / AP

The early morning hours of Saturday will mark two weeks since 18-year-old University of Virginia student Hannah Graham vanished, leading to a sweeping but fruitless search for the sophomore and anything that might lead to her whereabouts.

Charlottesville police named 32-year-old Jesse Matthew a suspect in the disappearance, and he was extradited to Charlottesville on Friday from Texas, where he had also disappeared for a short time. So far, he has refused to talk with investigators about what he might know about Graham, whom he was seen with the night she disappeared. Police have released little else about what led them to name him as their prime suspect, saying only that he's being held without bond. Here's what has come to light in the past two weeks:

Who is Hannah Graham?

Graham's parents are British, but they have lived in Virginia since their daughter was 5 years old, they said. Her parents said she loves school and had spent the summer looking forward to returning to U.Va., where she is a year-round athlete — playing softball in the spring and skiing on a team in the winter.

Hannah Graham's Parents Speak Out to Find Daughter 2:13

She also plays the alto saxophone and has a hankering for Starburst candy, both of which were featured as reminders of the teen at a vigil that more than a thousand people attended after she went missing. "You make things good, Hannah Graham," friends read from a letter at the vigil. "Where are you?"

Her parents, John and Sue Graham, said their only daughter "embraces life with energy and enthusiasm and has enriched the lives of many." During their sole public appearance, Graham's father said the teen spent the first spring break of her college career rebuilding in a tornado-ravaged Alabama town.

One of Graham's high school teachers said in an email to her parents that she was holding out hope that Graham would be found safe because she is "brilliant, resilient, determined, and loves life more than anyone I know." John Graham said the teacher added: "Everyone agrees, if anyone could get through this, it is Hannah."

What happened the day Graham went missing?

Security camera videos and witnesses' accounts have helped investigators piece together Graham's movements on the morning of Sept. 13, but shortly after she texted friends that she was lost around 1:20 a.m., sightings of her came to a halt.

Graham left an off-campus party around 12:15 a.m. and was spotted on surveillance video walking past a pub about a half-hour later. At 1 a.m., additional surveillance video captured Graham walking in a main street area called the Downtown Mall. Charlottesville Police Chief Timothy Longo has said Graham was likely intoxicated.

A man was seen following her, and during police questioning, he said that he had been trailing the 18-year-old because he was concerned about her but that he stopped when he saw another man put his arm around her. That man has since been identified as the suspect in Graham's disappearance, Jesse Matthew. Matthew was also seen on surveillance video walking behind Graham on the Downtown Mall.

Matthew made his way into the nearby Tempo Restaurant, according to a statement from the restaurant's staff. Graham wasn't served at Tempo, but the doorman saw Graham outside the eatery and saw her leave with Matthew. Longo said he believes Graham got into Matthew's car with him and also believes Matthew was the last person to be seen with Graham.

Who is Jesse Leroy Matthew?

Matthew, known as LJ, had worked as a patient technician at the U.Va. Medical Center since 2012 and was a taxi driver before that. He played football at Liberty University from 2000 to 2002 and was then on the football team at Christopher Newport University for the 2003 season, school representatives told NBC News.

He used his football background to volunteer with youth at a Christian elementary school called Covenant, according to a statement from the school. Matthew's former pastor David Hansen, said he "had a heart for God," adding that Matthew is just a "typical nice guy" and "real pleasant to be around."

But legal records show Matthew has been previously charged with assault, grand larceny, possession of stolen property and trespassing. Matthew was also questioned in connection with a sexual assault investigation in 2002, while he was a student at Liberty, but charges were never filed against him because the alleged victim did not want to go forward with the case, Lynchburg Commonwealth's Attorney Michael Doucette told NBC News. Charlottesville police named Matthew as a person of interest shortly after Graham disappeared, and after they searched his car and apartment twice, they charged him with abduction with the intent to defile.

Police: Suspect in missing girl case remaining silent 2:40

After Matthew retained a lawyer, he fled to Texas, where he was captured Wednesday on a beach in Galveston. Matthew was transported from the Galveston County jail Friday afternoon back to Virginia, where he was being held without bond pending a hearing next Thursday. Charlottesville police have been desperate to speak with Matthew about Graham's disappearance, but Galveston County Sheriff Henry Trochesset said Matthew was "very quiet" during his two days in the Texas jail. A search of the beach where Matthew was located yielded nothing, Trochesset said.

Where are police looking for Graham now?

FBI Special Agent Adam Lee called Matthew's arrest "a positive close to this chapter of this very important case," but Graham is still nowhere to be found. Authorities first focused on Charlottesville, and over the weekend, hundreds of community members spread out around the city to look for anything that might lead authorities to Graham.

"When someone is missing, you are filling in the blanks in an ugly way."

A majority of the city was combed before the Virginia Department of Emergency Management conducted a more targeted search Monday, but still "we have no idea what-so-ever where she is," Longo said Thursday night.

Longo said he has no reason to believe Graham was taken out of Virginia, and Charlottesville police released a statement Friday asking people across the region to search their properties and monitor wildlife cameras, to determine whether anything is out of place, and report everything they think may be relevant. A reward of $100,000 has been designated for information that leads to Graham, police said.

"The more time that goes by, the more difficult this is for everyone," Longo said. But he added, "I have hope. Hannah's mom and dad have hope."

Why is Graham's disappearance especially jarring for Charlottesville?

Graham is one of five young women to have disappeared from Charlottesville and nearby areas in five years. Morgan Harrington, 19, vanished from a concert on the U.Va. campus in 2009. Her body was found on a farm three months later, but no one has been charged with her murder.

Nineteen-year-old Samantha Ann Clarke vanished from Orange County in 2010, and 17-year-old Alexis Murphy disappeared from Shipman in 2012. Both went missing less than 50 miles from Charlottesville, and neither of their bodies have been found, according to The Associated Press.

DaShad Laquinn Smith, 19, also disappeared from Charlottesville in 2012. Her body also has not been discovered.

Charlottesville police have said they have no evidence to suggest the cases are connected, but Graham's disappearance has rehashed painful emotions in the community, nonetheless.

Amanda St. Clair, a volunteer who created a Facebook page when Harrington went missing and did the same for Graham, told NBC News that Graham's disappearance has "definitely rocked the U.Va. community because it's so similar to the way Morgan went missing."

St. Clair, who helped Harrington's mother, Gil, start an organization called "Help Save the Next Girl," said Charlottesville is "traumatized," adding, "There's definitely a problem here."

Gil Harrington told NBC News that she empathizes with Graham's parents because she knows the search is a "debilitating" process. "When someone is missing, you are filling in the blanks in an ugly way," she said.