Human remains found during the search for missing University of Virginia student Hannah Graham have been identified as those of the 18-year-old, officials said Friday. The remains were found Saturday on an abandoned property near Old Lynchburg Road in Albemarle County, less than 10 miles away from where Graham was last seen.
"The focus of the investigation now is to determine what charges will be brought and the appropriate time to make those charges," said a statement from the Commonwealth's Attorney for the County of Albemarle. Graham was last seen on Sept. 13 on surveillance video and by witnesses with Jesse Leroy Matthew, 32, who was charged with abduction with the intent to defile in connection with the case, police have said. The Albemarle County Police appealed Friday to those who live near Old Lynchburg Road to provide any tips.
"For Hannah’s young life to end so tragically, and for her destiny of promise to be left unfulfilled, is an affront to the sanctity of life and to the natural order of human events," said U.Va President Teresa A. Sullivan, adding, "our entire community is grieving with the Graham family."
"We all hoped for a happier ending," Graham's parents said. "Although we have lost our precious Hannah, the light she radiated can never be extinguished."
— Elisha Fieldstadt