Feedback
News

Arrest in Hannah Graham Case Highlights Those Who Vanished Earlier

Image: FBI agents escort Jesse Leroy Matthew, Jr., center, from a plane during extradition to Charlottesville, Va.

In this Friday, Sept. 26, 2014 photo provided by the FBI, agents escort Jesse Leroy Matthew, Jr., center, from a plane during extradition to Charlottesville, Va. Matthew, 32, is suspect in the Sept. 13, 2014 disappearance of University of Virginia student Hannah Graham. FBI via AP

The lawyer for the suspect in Hannah Graham's disappearance said Tuesday that he has seen no evidence that his client is involved in the 2009 murder of another Virginia college student, which has already been linked to a 2005 sexual assault.

Jesse Matthew, 32, is facing an abduction charge in connection with Graham, a University of Virginia student who went missing on Sept. 13 and still has not been found — and the details have drawn comparisons to four other similar cases.

State police have said Matthew's arrest in Galveston, Texas, after a weeklong manhunt sparked by surveillance camera footage, provided them with a "forensic" break in the unsolved homicide of Virginia Tech student Morgan Harrington, 20.

Police link Hannah Graham suspect to 2009 case 2:27

DNA recovered during the Harrington investigation matches material from an attack four years earlier on a 26-year-old woman who was walking home from a Fairfax grocery and survived because a passerby scared off her assailant.

Matthew's attorney, James Camblos, told NBC News that he met with his client for more than two hours on Wednesday and won't comment on the Graham probe until a bail hearing Thursday.

However, he did say that the prosecutor "has yet to provide me with any evidence of links to those two cases."

He declined to comment on the likelihood that authorities are now looking for links between his client and several other missing-persons cases in the area.

Alexis Murphy, 17, was last seen near Lynchburg, Va., in August 2013. Even though a body was never found, a jury convicted Randy Taylor of her murder in July. Taylor's name also came up during the investigation into Samantha Ann Clarke, 19, who vanished in September 2010, but he was never charged in connection with that case.

Taylor's lawyer, Mike Hallahan, told NBC News that he plans to ask prosecutors to compare DNA found in Murphy's car with Matthew's profile.

"There were several unidentified samples," Hallahan said. "They may have been friends and family or it may it have been someone else."

Even before Matthew was arrested, however, the prosecutor said there was "no credible evidence" to suggest he was involved in Murphy's abduction.

Another case drawing scrutiny is the November 2012 disappearance of 19-year-old DaShad Laquinn Smith, who has been described as transgendered. Another person of interest was previously named in that case, though.

Fisherman Recalls Chance Meeting With UVA Suspect 1:18