Jesse Matthew was arrested in Texas on Wednesday, according to MSN News. Matthew is the person of interest in the abduction of University of Virginia student Hannah Graham. Graham has been missing for nearly two weeks.
Graham, 18, was last heard from by her friends via text message about 1:20 a.m. on the morning of September 13. Reportedly, she had gotten lost after leaving a party. Witnesses claim to have seen the college sophomore with Matthew, 32, sometime after 1 a.m. at the Downtown Mall in Charlottesville, Virginia that same day.
Matthew was spotted by witnesses buying the teen alcohol. There is some speculation that Graham may have gotten into a car with Matthew. Matthew is the last known person seen with Graham before she disappeared. Law enforcement officers believe Graham did not know Matthew prior to her disappearance.
Police identified Matthew on surveillance cameras six days after Graham was reported missing. On the video, Graham was seen entering a bar with Matthew. Matthew has since been described as a “person of interest.”
An arrest warrant was issued for Jesse Leroy Matthew Jr. on September 21 for reckless driving after he left his grandmother’s house at a high rate of speed. Matthew has not been seen since Sunday. After a search of Matthew’s apartment on Monday, Charlottesville police chief Timothy Longo announced that Matthew had been charged with Graham’s abduction with intent to defile.
Apparently, police took several items of clothing from Matthew’s apartment during Monday’s search. However, law enforcement declined to say what new evidence they had to charge Matthew with Graham’s disappearance. CNN reported on Thursday that Matthew was found and arrested Wednesday afternoon on a Texas beach in Galveston where he had been camping.
Matthew is currently being held without bond in Galveston pending his extradition back to Virginia in a day or two. Said Longo, “We have a person in custody, but there’s a long road ahead of us, and that long road includes finding Hannah Graham.” Longo is asking surrounding county land owners to search their property for any signs of Graham and report back via the police tip line at 434-295-3851.
Graham was a straight A student, saxophone player and alpine skier. She is described by friends and family as diligent and responsible. Matthew was employed as a patient technician by the University of Virginia Medical Center and described by those who knew him as a “gentle giant.” Dave Hansen met Matthew over a decade ago at an area church. Said Hansen, “He seemed genuine with his faith and spirituality. … I don’t see him doing this at all, but that’s usually the case, I guess.”