Authorities investigating the disappearance of University of Virginia student Hannah Graham were combing over a rural area Sunday where human remains were discovered the day before.
The remains were found on an abandoned property near Old Lynchburg Road in Albemarle County, less than 10 miles away from where Graham was last seen, Charlottesville Police Chief Timothy Longo said Saturday. Although Graham's parents had been notified of the discovery, Longo said forensic tests needed to be conducted to determine the identity of the remains.
Crews spent Sunday canvassing roadsides for several miles surrounding the site and interviewing residents who live near Old Lynchburg Road, according to NBC Washington. Investigators did not disclose what they were looking for. Albemarle County Police Chief Col. Steve Sellers had appealed Saturday for people who live in the area to report anything suspicious that they may have seen on the night Graham went missing nearly five weeks earlier. Jesse Leroy Matthew, 32, the last person believed to be spotted with Graham, has been arrested and charged with abduction with the intent to defile in connection with the case. Graham went missing in the early hours of Sept. 13 after leaving an off-campus party.
A volunteer-assisted search scheduled for Sunday in a park four miles from where the remains were found was called off because "authorities are focusing their attention on recent evidence," the Albemarle County Police department said in a statement.
— Elisha Fieldstadt