“When we started this journey together we all hoped for a happier ending. Sadly that was not to be,” Graham’s parents, John and Sue Graham, said in a statement provided by the Albemarle County [Virginia] Police Department. “We are devastated by the loss of our beautiful daughter. … Although we have lost our precious Hannah, the light she radiated can never be extinguished.”
This profoundly sad statement followed today’s announcement that 18-year-old Hannah had been positively identified., Her remains were found on October 18th during a search conducted by Sheriff’s Deputies. They were prepared to call it a day when they gave it one more try and found scattered human remains in a wooded area of Albemarle County. Jesse Leroy Matthew, Jr., age 32, is reported to have previously lived not far from the spot where he dumped the body of this beautiful, brilliant University of Virginia student.
Hannah was last seen in his company leaving a bar/restaurant in the early morning hours of September 13. Witnesses said she appeared physically impaired, barely able to stand, leaning into Matthew who was noted to have had a tight grip on her opposite arm. Although Hannah had been drinking earlier at a party that night, surveillance cameras later captured her walking normally, at times running, prior to her encounter with Matthew, who approached her as she walked along The Mall, a popular avenue of restaurants, bars and nightspots.
Virginia Tech student Morgan Harrington, age 20, who disappeared in 2009, was murdered, her remains found only six miles from where Hannah’s were recovered. Forensic evidence has linked both Morgan and Hannah to Jesse Matthew,
Meanwhile, yesterday a judge issued a bench warrant for Matthew’s transfer to Fairfax County to face charges on a 2005 sexual assault case. The details of the assault reveal a brutal assailant. I believe it’s a certainty that Morgan and Hannah endured the same unspeakable torture prior to death.
Charges for the murder of Hannah Graham are pending.