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Jesse Matthew Jr. wanted for abduction of UVa. student Hannah Graham

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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. -- Charlottesville Police announced that Jesse Leroy Matthew Jr.  is now wanted for abduction with intent to defile Hannah Elizabeth Graham, along with two counts of reckless driving.

Graham, an 18-year-old University of Virginia student, was reported missing on Sunday, Sept. 14, but no one has seen her since early Saturday, Sept. 13.

"We reached that point that the Commonwealth felt we had probable cause to seek an arrest warrant," Charlottesville Police Chief Timothy Longo said at Tuesday's 7 p.m. press conference.  With this charge, Matthew becomes a suspect, charged with a Class 2 felony for abduction with intent to defile.

Wanted Poster no ss

Police conducted a second search of Matthew's Albemarle County apartment  in Hessian Hills on Monday. Longo said the specific clothing they were looking for was removed from the apartment and "sent to a lab for analysis."  Additionally three bags of evidence were removed.

The chief said Tuesday that police are still waiting on certain information and did not detail the results of any forensic testing on evidence taken from Matthew's car or apartment, as was originally expected, other than to say they had enough evidence to issue a warrant.

"Once we have that information, we will be very forthright," Longo said. "You know we have been working very hard over the past almost nine days, in relation to this case."

CBS 6 Legal Analyst Todd Stone said that it only takes probable cause to charge for abduction, but that there must be some evidence suggesting sexual nature because of the "intent to defile."

On Sunday police had issued an arrest warrant against Matthews on two counts of reckless driving. After he walked into the police station on Saturday to meet with a lawyer, police said Matthews got into a car and drove away from the station with another person. While investigators followed the vehicle, they said the car drove off at a dangerous speed.

"State and federal authorities who were overtly monitoring his movement saw him get into a car and leave a location to Albemarle County at a high rate of speed,  driving in a matter that was reckless and placed others in danger,” Chief Longo said. Longo said he would not speculate on why Matthew sped off, but said investigators are “aggressively pursuing his location.”

Hannah Graham's disappearance and Matthew's description

Graham was last seen on surveillance camera early Saturday, Sept. 13. Her friends last heard from her around 1:20 a.m. that Saturday, when she sent a text saying she was lost in an area where she could not possibly have been, according to police.

The text said she was lost near her apartment, at 14th and Wertland Streets near the college, but surveillance video shows her over a mile away, leaving a restaurant named Tempo off of 5th Street.

Hannah Graham Missing poster

Graham was seen leaving Tempo with Matthew, who police said bought drinks for them. Graham was also spotted a little earlier, walking eastbound down Main Street on the Downtown Mall, with Matthew's arm on her waist.

Prior to that he was seen walking westbound along the Charlottesville downtown mall where numerous shops, bars and restaurants are located.  In the video shown below, Matthew cuts across the mall and begins heading eastbound, following Graham.

Jesse Leroy Matthew Jr. is described as a black, dreadlocked male, 6’2″ and 32 years of age, weighing around 270 pounds. Matthew is reportedly driving his sister's vehicle, a light blue Nissan Sentra with Virginia plates and the tags VAC4575.

Now that he has been charged with a felony crime, more police agencies can become involved, said Stone.

Police said that in addition to his home state of Virginia, he has known associates in Washington D.C., Maryland, Pennsylvania and New York.

A $50,000 reward is now being offered in hopes of soliciting tips that could lead police to Graham.

Anyone with information regarding Graham’s whereabouts should call (434) 295-3851 or 1-800-THE-LOST.

All surveillance videos can be seen here. All reports filed on this case can be found here.

57 comments

  • scumpuppy

    Yeah, he did it, just wonder what other things he is guilty of, given the fact that he is 32 yrs old. I doubt seriously that he just recently decided to start committing such acts at this stage of his life.

    • David Vazquez

      It will be interesting to see what the results are of any DNA comparisons. They have the DNA evidence from the Va Tech student’s murder, linked to sexual assaults in the DC area. I wouldn’t be surprised if he’s linked by DNA to those as well.

      • Nancy Drew

        Agreed! Those silently but deadly types are the worst!! Maybe he gets the girls in his car and then injects them with a syringes of drugs he steals from the hospital where he works!! That’s what Nancy Drew us thinking now….and then he rapes and murders them. He may be operating with others or solo. But I be he will have blood on his hands from other victims too. Nurses assistants have been known to do this stuff a lot out there. Read some of my detective books and you will not see that at all – but it happens in other mystery stories and real life also!

    • the dude

      Yes, because a black man in the south always gets a fair shake from the police. *Especially* when white women are involved.

      • Nancy Drew

        So maybe you’d think they would have learned by now to stay the hell away! It’s as if you’re blaming the victims if black men. They do the crime they double the time ! So don’t do the crime – DUH!!

    • David Vazquez

      It makes a lot of sense, He drove away at an extremely high rate of speed, and pursuing him would have put more people in danger– meaning other people may have been killed. That happens all the time. I had to break off many vehicle pursuits because at 90+ mph, the lives of innocent people come into danger, making the whole thing not worth risking the lives of others.

      • David Vazquez

        Nancy the point is, if he kills someone with his vehicle, it’s on him. If police kill someone with their vehicles, because they’re going 90+ mph, it’s on them. That’s why they broke off– they didn’t want to be responsible for the deaths of completely innocent people. Pretty simple concept.

    • Belsma

      I doubt it. I think it was shortly after he went to the police station and I am pretty sure he knew they were monitoring him.

  • Nancy Drew

    What was she doing running around with him in the pedestrian mall and letting him out his arm around her and then bar hopping with him? There is no way any one as smart as she is being a UVA student and all would just hook up on the street with a complete stranger and run off to the bars with him. I say this all the time now but they must have known each other beforehand even if she was drunk she was still able to walk and drink so she had to know on some level who he was. Does anyone know if she is a nursing student and did she know him from the UVA hospital where he worked?? Something is not right here and the police are holding back a lot of info. I am sure they know where he is – no way was Longo going to just let him runoff like that. I would be the Feds are tracking and stalking him right now. They will tap his phone calls and his friends and relatives calls. They will find Hannah but I do not believe in my heart of hearts that she is going to be found alive. Hell she could be in the trunk if his sisters car for all we know right now!! His family should have their homes searched too!! Especially the sister and the granny’s house. Maybe abducting the granny and holding her for ransom til he turns himself in and tells the world what he did with Hannah might be the solution. #Granny for Hannah. And see how he likes that one! Big fat boy with big ugly lips – blaaah!!

    • David Vazquez

      Nancy, plenty of women went off readily with Ted Bundy, a complete stranger to them. And they weren’t intoxicated. This girl was, and probably thought she was safe in public with this guy, surrounded by 100 people….

    • Belsma

      She was under the influence. She may have had something slipped into her drink along the way. They “met” up in a public place if you will. I don’t think she knew him prior, but that’s just my opinion. I talk to people everywhere I go. Maybe she was like that as well. I was taught to judge a person by the content of their character and not by the color of their skin or “big lips”. Really??? So now you are judging everyone with full lips? Matthew seems like he has messed up royally, but not everyone that “looks” like him has.

      • Nancy Drew

        I never said everyone who looks like him is guilty / where do you get off jumping from a -z with your presumptions?? There is an arrest warrant out for big ugly lips / just read that poster all over this page, girl!

  • Heather

    Despite the fact that she was “responsible” , she was at a party, getting drunk, at 18 years of age. Are any charges going to be brought against the individuals who gave this underage person alcohol? Would she have wandered off drunk if they hadn’t? My prayers go out to her family for her safe return.

    • David Vazquez

      Heather no, no one is going to be “charged”, if the person who was allegedly served is not present, and probably no longer alive. Difficult to charge someone with that if the person who was served is unable to appear in court.

    • Belsma

      Do you live in a bubble Heather? She is a college student and lives around a college campus. Not trying to sound mean, but the reality is, is that college kids go and party. LE is not really concerned about that right now and if they busted every underaged kid for drinking there would probably only be 30 percent, if that of undergraduates left at any college across the country depending on the rules. HS kids still party and find a way to get alcohol. I did it and I think many of us did. Was it right? No, but it will continue until the end of time.

      • Heather

        I don’t live in a bubble. Laws are made for a reason. And if this one hadn’t been broken, she might be safe in her bed. “Everyone does it” gets a lot of young people in trouble or killed.

      • Belsma

        Heather, I never said, “everyone does it”. It’s just reality, just as it’s a reality that predators will always be out there waiting for their first or next “target”. I am not going to victim blame an 18 year old who was impaired and “allegedly” at this point taken by a 32 year old man. It could have been any of us in college and could be any of our children who will be heading out in a blink of an eye.

    • Nancy Drew

      Heather – your points are very valid so just ignore the arrogant and condescending remarks by these idiots. They come off as racist pigs defending Jesse Matthew on a naive basis – innocent until proven guilty but there is a warrant out for his arrest – that’s hardly innocent! And yeah, he has big ugly lips and God only knows where those smackers have been. If he’s guilty then he should fry in the electric chair. Virginia ‘s got the harshest penalties for serious crimes of any state on the East Coast. I would not be surprised if he is found to be a serial killer too. My gut tells me he’s been doing this a very long time. According to the timeline put out by the police – he met her at 1:06am on the mall, brought her into a bar and got her a drink (illegally) by 1:20am and then they left the bar at 1:40am according to police witness testimony. If that’s not the smoothest operator you’ve ever heard of then I don’t know who is! And we are supposed to believe they didn’t know each other??! Ted Bundy couldn’t operate that fast and he was unfortunately a good looking guy – which is how he preyed on women! Jesse Matthew an his big ugly lips has no doubt been a total washout with women. So this is the way he gets revenge?? For rejection?! What a beast!

  • Tar Zan

    So – what changed and made them put out the warrant for the felony? There is no additional evidence that has been made public that warrants this. Am i wrong for thinking the public has a right to know why he has been charged?

    • Tar Zan

      I understand a little better after watching Chief Longo’s remarks, however I think that if they are publicly putting out a warrant for “abduction with intent to defile”, then they should publicly release the evidence they have.

      • Belsma

        I believe I read earlier that a judge sealed some evidence, so we may not know everything until this goes to trial and they find J. Matthew.

  • Orlando de Lassus

    I think Nancy Drew makes a lot of sense. She is a girl detective after all and a whole series was written about her

    • Nancy Drew

      Yes and the Hardy Boys were my boyfriends too – I dated both brothers at the same time…..but don’t tell anyone ! They may think I am a slut for doing that and think I deserve to be punished. You know how men have such impaired judgment – you never know what to expect from them. If I were running the country, I’d implement a human neutering program for first time offenders. That’ll make ’em think twice about it. Public castrations would change many a man….and certainly cut down on the population in the prison system. Many young men just need to be neutered.

  • discounters14

    I pray that she is found alive!! This is a sad situation and I can only imagine, what her family is going through.

    As far, as the guy. It’s reported that he work in a operating room, I’m wondering did the police talk to his coworkers? Somebody has to come forward , and hopefully
    provide information that will lead this young lady being found. We can only be prayful!

  • bob

    why the f would a beautiful college student be within a 1/4 mile of this savage thug??…. good grief…. safe your kids white people.. teach them properly.. who to stay the fuck away from !!!!!!!!!!!

  • bombard

    I use to go to church with LJ Matthew s. He is soft spoken kind. He went to Liberty College in Va. I could have never for seen him being wrapped up in something like this. Not a thug. Do your homework before you judge. If he is guilty or innocent that is for the judicial system to decide. Fire work may fly now…

  • wiseman

    @Bob don’t you know that some nice girls like thugs. They go for excitement. Please will somebody shut nancy drew up. She really think that she is the REAL nancy drew. Lol

  • wiseman

    @ my3dogs why do you say he look like trouble? Is it because he black / dreads? Do u know how silly you sound. Did the white boys that shoot up their schools and kill ten or more kids look like trouble? Think before you write your next comment.

  • wiseman

    @Sommeone your comment could be question. Slaves ran away and it was not because they was guilty but it was because they knew that they wasn’t going to be treated fair and that the same way it is today for a black boy or man.

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