The remains found last weekend in Albermale County, Va., have been confirmed as belonging to missing University of Virginia student Hannah Graham.

Remains Found Confirmed As Hannah Graham

Graham, 18, went missing on Sept. 13, and thousands participated in searches to find her for a month until remains were discovered on abandoned property near where Graham disappeared. The remains, discovered Saturday, Oct. 18, were sent to the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner in Richmond for identification, but authorities appeared confident that the remains belonged to Graham, declaring her case a death investigation. On Friday, Oct. 24, the Virginia Medical Examiner’s Office confirmed that the remains were, indeed, those of Graham.

Graham’s parents, John and Sue Graham, issued a statement, expressing their thanks to Charlottesville Police Chief Timothy Longo, who has been steadfast in his determination to find Graham and return her home to her parents, and all those who searched for Graham.

“When we started this journey together we all hoped for a happier ending. Sadly that was not to be, but due to the tenacity and determination of Chief Longo, Hannah is coming home to us and we will be eternally grateful to him for this,” the Grahams wrote.

“We are devastated by the loss of our beautiful daughter, Hannah. Over recent weeks Hannah has been described by those who know her as bright, witty, thoughtful, loyal and fun to be around. She was all those things and more. Put simply, Hannah lit up our lives, the lives of our family and the lives of her friends and others who knew her. Although we have lost our precious Hannah, the light she radiated can never be extinguished,” the statement continues.

University of Virginia President Teresa A. Sullivan also released a statement to the members of the University, confirming Graham’s death. “This is a sorrowful day in the life of the University, and our entire community is grieving with the Graham family. We offer our sincere condolences for their loss, and we will continue to hold them in our thoughts and prayers in the days ahead,” Sullivan wrote.

A suspect, Jesse Matthew, is currently in custody, though no official charges have been filed regarding Hannah Graham's disappearance or death.