Hannah Graham Update: Remains Found, Now A Death Investigation
The case of missing UVA student, Hannah Graham, has been tentatively declared a “death investigation” following the discovery of human remains.
Remains Found Could Belong To Hannah Graham
A search party led by the Chesterfield Sheriff’s Department made the discovery on Saturday, Oct. 18, while searching abandoned property in Albemarle County. The human remains have not been positively identified as Graham, but, according to reports, the search party also discovered black pants near the remains similar to the ones Graham was wearing on the night she disappeared.
Charlottesville Police Chief Timothy Longo announced in a press conference that the remains were being sent to Richmond, where the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner will examine and identify the body. Longo added that Graham’s parents, John and Susan Graham, had been notified of the discovery.
“Again, these are human remains and forensic tests need to be conducted to determine the identification of those remains, but, nonetheless, we wanted to be quick and timely in sharing this information with the Graham family,” Longo stressed.
Despite the fact that no positive identification has been made, the authorities appear to believe that the remains do, in fact, belong to Graham. A public search for Graham was cancelled on Sunday following the discovery, and, at the press conference, Longo thanked those who had already volunteered their time searching.
“I want to thank everyone who gave up their days, their nights, their weekends, people who called and wrote and dropped food and good wishes and words of encouragement to the search groups and the detectives who have worked so hard in this investigation,” Longo said before giving Albermale County Police Chief Steve Sellers the chance to address the press.
Hannah Graham Case Now A Death Investigation
Since the remains were found in Albermale County, Sellers announced that they would be heading the investigation of the remains – a death investigation. Sellers also cautioned the press against jumping to conclusions regarding the identity of these remains, saying, “We cannot and we will not jump to any conclusions regarding to today’s discovery, so I ask for the public’s patience as we move forward and pursue what is now a new, ongoing death investigation.”
Graham was last seen on Sept. 13, and Jesse Matthew is currently being detained in connection with her disappearance. Only a few days before the discovery of the remains, the Grahams released a statement on Oct. 13, one month after Graham’s disappearance.
“We truly appreciate the enormous effort that is being made to find Hannah. It is heart-breaking for us that the person or persons who know where Hannah is have not come forward with that information. It is within their power both to end this nightmare for all, and to relieve the searchers of their arduous task… Please, please, please help us bring Hannah home,” they wrote.