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Hannah Graham: Suspect Arrested in Case of Missing UVA Student

Jesse Matthew, 32, is in custody after being charged in the disappearance of the missing student.

The man charged with abducting missing University of Virginia student Hannah Graham has been arrested in Texas, police said.

Jesse Matthew, 32, was arrested Wednesday afternoon in Galveston County, Texas, Charlottesville Police Chief Timothy Longo told reporters Wednesday evening. He did not provide any details about how Matthew was arrested, or how he got to Texas. Matthew was charged Tuesday with abduction with intent to defile in the disappearance of second-year student Hannah Graham, 18, who vanished after leaving an off-campus party on Sept. 13.

“This case is nowhere near over. We have a person in custody, but a long road ahead of us,” Longo said. “We’re asking every person within the sound of my voice to find Hannah.”

The Galveston County Sheriff's Office said Matthew was arrested on a beach in Gilchrist, Texas, at around 3:30 p.m. but wouldn't provide further details. FBI Special Agent Adam Lee called the arrest "a positive close to this chapter of this very important case."

Police had previously searched Matthew’s apartment and car, but at that time said they had no probable cause to detain him for questioning. Matthew had not been seen since he sped away from the Charlottesville police station Saturday after a brief interview, when he was only considered a person of interest in Graham's disappearance.

Surveillance videos showed Graham walking, and then running, as she passed a Charlottesville gas station at 1 a.m. Sept. 13, after leaving an off-campus party. Other video showed her briefly speaking to a man outside of a bar, and then walking in a mall downtown, where a witness said a man was seen putting his arm around her. More than 1,000 volunteers fanned out last weekend searching for any sign of the missing student or what happened to her.

Graham is one of five girls to go missing in the Charlottesville area in the last five years. Last Thursday, an estimated 2,000 people gathered at a candlelight vigil at the university.



— Phil Helsel