Fisherman Says Suspect in Disappearance of UVA Student Asked Him for Catch

Breaking News Emails

Get breaking news alerts and special reports. The news and stories that matter, delivered weekday mornings.

A fisherman claims the suspect in the disappearance of a University of Virginia student asked him for food and a camping cooler just before he was captured Wednesday on a beach in Texas. Jesse Matthew, who has been charged with abduction in the case of missing 18-year-old Hannah Graham, allegedly told the fisherman he was hungry and asked for one of his catches.

"He asked if he could have one. I said, 'Sure.' The next one I caught, I gave to him," Mike Rodenberg told NBC affiliate KPRC in Houston.

"He was real soft-spoken," said Rodenberg, who was visiting the beachfront community of Gilchrist on Wednesday. "Didn't seem to come across (as) real tough or mean or anything like that, so I was surprised to see all the activity after he left and then find out that he was connected with the girl in Virginia."

Rodenberg claims Matthew told him his name was George — the same false name the Galveston County Sheriff's Office says the suspect initially gave one of its deputies when he was apprehended on the beach around 3:30 p.m. Wednesday. Matthew was nabbed after police received a call reporting a suspicious person camping out on the beach.


— Daniel Arkin