Richmond Police searching for escaped inmate

Jesse Matthew, Hannah Graham abduction suspect, back in Charlottesville

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GALVESTON COUNTY, Tex. -- The primary suspect in the disappearance of University of Virginia student Hannah Graham arrived back in Charlottesville Friday evening after being captured in Galveston, Texas, earlier this week.

CBS 6 reporter Melissa Hipolit confirmed that a private plane carrying Matthew landed at 5:40 p.m. at the Charlottesville Flight Center.

From the airfield, Matthew was transported to the Charlottesville Police Station. Then just before 7 p.m., Matthew was transported in a van to the Albemarle County Jail.

Jesse Matthew

Jesse Matthew

Charlottesville police said that 32-year-old Jesse "LJ" Matthew Jr. was moved from a holding facility and transported back to Virginia.

He was brought to the Charlottesville Police Department and then taken to the Charlottesville-Albemarle Regional Jail, where he was held with no bond," Charlottesville Communications Director Miriam I. Dickler wrote in a news release. "He is expected to have a bond hearing in the Charlottesville General District Court on Thursday October 2nd. The time of that hearing will be decided by the court."

Matthew, who was wanted on one charge of abduction with intent defile and two reckless driving charges, did not request a court-appointed attorney Thursday morning and opted not to fight extradition back to the Commonwealth.

Matthew was held without bond until Charlottesville police arrived Thursday afternoon. The Virginia law enforcement team included is a state officer, county sheriff, and local law enforcement officer. But they are not the officers tasked with bringing Matthew back to Virginia, Galveston County Sheriff Henry Trochesset said during a news conference late Thursday.

The car Matthew was driving was towed away from the camp spot where police arrested him Wednesday, and the trunk was not opened until Charlottesville investigators arrived.

“They are starting to look at the vehicle," said Trochesset. He added that "right now, Hannah is not to be located."

The sheriff explained that police in Texas were alerted to a suspicious man camping on the beach in Gilchrist on the Bolivar Peninsula, approximately 1,300 miles from Charlottesville. When they ran his license plate number around 3:30 p.m., they found out he was wanted in Virginia. He was charged with giving false information to a police officer.

A federal law enforcement source confirmed a phone call made from a borrowed cell phone in Louisiana, to Virginia, is how police first discovered Jesse Matthew was out of the state and on the run.

The sheriff said the car and a tent were removed from the campsite, and that he doesn't believe Matthew had been there more than a day or two.

The tipster who called the sheriff's office directly to report Matthew was a woman.

“Not sure if she recognized him or the fact of what was going on surrounding him made her feel compelled to contact us," the sheriff said, though he did not explain.

Matthew held separately

Matthew is in“administrative segregation,” meaning they are watching his behavior, and making sure he is safe and secure.

At his court appearance Matthew asked the judge about the clothing he was provided with.

"Hey sir, I have a question for you," Matthew said during the preceding. "Um. They took all our clothes and they got me sleeping on a large (inaudible) Should be in, I should be in some kind of clothes?"

"You appear to me to be dressed in a jump suit,'" the judge replies.

"Well, once I get back there I'm gonna take my jumpsuit off and tell me I can take my jumpsuit," Matthew said.

"Medical, medical has to clear you out of medical, that's a requirement of medical," the judge said. "So once medical sees you and clears you, and they move you to another cell, you can get the jumpsuit back."

Hannah's disappearance still boggles community

Authorities are now offering a $100,000 reward for information leading to the safe return of Graham, 18, a second-year student at the University of Virginia.

The Northern Virginia native is 5 feet 11 inches tall with a slender build and has light brown hair, blue eyes and freckles. She was last seen September 13 wearing a silver, shimmery crop top and capri pants. She had an iPhone in a pink case.

“This bright, athletic, friendly college student who has been part of our community for two years, is still missing," said Longo.

For over 10 days police have been aggressively coordinating search efforts and collecting information surrounding the  disappearance  of the second-year University of Virginia student.

Witness accounts and surveillance video led police to obtain a search warrant for Matthew's car, and then his home. Then two days later police returned to his home in Hessian Hills, searching for clothes and took more evidence.

As some evidence came back from forensics testing, police issued an arrest warrant for Matthew, for abduction with intent to defile.

New missing person poster released reflects increased reward.

New missing person poster released reflects increased reward.

On the evening of September 12, she was seen at a party before friends saw her at an apartment complex a couple of blocks away from the party. That was shortly before midnight.

About 12:45 a.m. on September 13, a surveillance camera caught Graham outside of a pub, about three-quarters of a mile from the apartment complex. A doorman turned her away at the pub, Longo said Sunday.

Ten minutes later, she is seen running past a gas station — no one appears to be pursuing her — and witnesses say they saw her five minutes later roughly four blocks from the gas station.

The surveillance camera at an Italian cafe captured her walking along the pedestrian outdoor mall in downtown Charlottesville, about 1:06 a.m. The camera at a jewelry store recorded her passing two minutes later, with Matthew walking beside her, police said.

At 1:20 a.m. she texted her friends to say she was lost and trying to find a party. She was seen with a man said to be Matthew, having drinks at a bar between 1:30 and 2 a.m..

Police believe she may have been under the influence of alcohol, Longo said, and may have been vulnerable or unable to defend herself.


READ NOW: Hannah Graham’s parents say she left her ‘guardian angel’ at home before returning to UVa.

What's next? 

They have received 1,500 tips so far in the case. Last weekend, more than 1,200 volunteers and Virginia Department of Emergency Management officials spent the weekend searching for clues that would lead them to Graham

As time passes, the search area grows, investigators say. Longo said the Virginia Department of Emergency Management, and search and rescue have covered most of city, and Carter’s Mountain.

Longo also asked property owners to check their land for anything suspicion. He asked owners that have checked their land to call the Hannah Graham tip line at 434-295-3851 or email to let investigators cross those properties off the list.

“If you have seen tire tracks…that seem suspect, again, contact us,” Longo said. “We will make the assessment of what is relevant.”

The chief also asked for the help of Charlottesville-area realtors.

“If you are a realtor who serves the greater Charlottesville area, we are asking you to go to vacant properties to follow the same directives that we have asked property owners.”

The City of Charlottesville, the University of Virginia and the local community have contributed $100,000 to a reward for “information leading to the cause” of Graham’s disappearance. Anyone with info is asked to call the tipline at 434-295-3851.

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

Depend on CBS 6 News and for the latest updates on this important story. 


  • Delores Easthom

    Reporters can’t seem to get it right. One, says, the bar owner said, She stayed outside and wasn’t served drinks, Another article, says Matthew kept buying her drinks. Then the one man who was seen by a witness that was short cropped hair and a pot belly, then another says, a black man with dregs.
    Does anyone really know what they saw or didn’t see? Really weird!

    • Belsma

      Bald black dude with a beer belly was a ruse by investigators. Owner of bar is trying to save his butt from serving underaged kids. That is all.

  • Glen Allen

    I wish they would take their time in reporting this stuff, check their facts, and proof-read what they write. The haste that has gone into this article has resulted in a poorly written report that could have been thrown together by a ten year old. Is being “first” to report worth the embarrassment?

  • Nancy Drew

    Very poorly written indeed! These are journalists?!? Hardly! But what strikes me as so frightening, more so than the obvious badly worded writing is that Big bad Jesse is more clueless and childish than one would expect. He is seriously delusional enough to believe he’s getting his clothing back??! The judge had to explain to him that he is in his new clothing and his permanent clothing too. How many inmates wear their own clothing vs prison garb? Has he not seen enough cartoons even to know that jailbirds wear jumpsuits and prisoners wear pinstripes?!? Sadly, I think we are looking at a very low IQ who probably raped and murdered a female student with a very high IQ and who would have gone on to do great things in this world. Not because she’s white or female but because she’s a productive member of society who happens to be smart, talented and well liked by everyone so it appears. She is also young for a sophomore – only 18 means she skipped a grade somewhere along the way. I also read she is a straight A student too.. Oh ….why couldn’t she have just stood in the middle of that mall screaming and crying for someone to help her? She would have made enough noise where some legitimate person would have stopped to help her! Not a sexual predator with only primal instincts and the IQ of a borderline idiot!!!

      • Meaghan

        @wiseman..thank you! I don’t get that either. Her friends or roommate didn’t even report her missing. It was her mom after not hearing from her for 24 hours. Her friends get a text from Hannah, saying she’s lost, come find me, and what do they do? Go back to bed? “Ehhh..she’ll find a way back herself!” Some friends

      • Belsma

        Big party weekend. I think all her friends were two sheets to the wind as well. I think they are kicking themselves now.

    • N2RVA

      if you read what he allegedly said a second time, it looks like he’s saying they took his jump suit from him in the cell because then the judge says “medical has to clear you” implying he may not have even been wearing a jumpsuit. This means he was naked in his cell as a possible suicide risk?? Hard to believe that but maybe that’s what he’s trying to say.

      • Belsma

        No, he probably just had to strip down for a “physical” if you will. They probably did a cavity search and then gave him the jump suit back to put on. Standard procedure.

    • bmujahid

      I also remember reading in a book some years ago that the mentally incompetent are sometimes kept naked for their own protection in some overcrowded jails. The title of the book is “Crazy: A Father’s Search Through America’s Mental Health Madness” by Pete Earley. Shocking, but true.

    • Meaghan

      I took his clothing question to mean he was being made to sleep naked. He told the judge that they had him wear the jumpsuit to court and then he said they were going to take it away later, meaning he didn’t have anything. I think under suicide watch, you’re stripped of everything. It had nothing to do with his street clothes

    • Meaghan

      And she was going to be 19 in February. It doesn’t mean she skipped a grade. She could have stated school early, not to mention she moved here from Australia at the age of 10, so who knows how her grade level transferred

      • Belsma

        Um, she’s from England and has been here since she was 5. She could have had college credits in HS and took summer school for more. My kid just started HS and had 3 credits before she entered. She will have college credits before she graduates.

    • Belsma

      Haha! Very well stated! I am not a violent person, but I wish I could get my hands around his neck and ask a few questions! Guess I am violent now..

  • Glen Allen

    The fact of the matter is that mostly because of the media, this man is already presumed guilty. While this guy was on the run, I can see the attention, but he has been caught now and the police will continue their investigation, releasing information when the time is right. The media should be directing all of its attention to efforts being pursued to find Hannah, and not on the suspect. She has got to be somewhere in the area. Unless the authorities think it would jeopardize the investigation, it would be nice if they put a grid map on line with up to the minuet updates as to properties that have been fully checked-out, and which areas can be searched by anyone in the public.

    • Rob Milliken

      I don’t think she was drinking at a bar – she was turned away. She may have been drinking at a restaurant where they would not turn her away or serve her, but she could have shared drinks with others, potentially.

    • Belsma

      Are you that naive? Shoot, kids in HS have no problem getting alcohol, so why would it be an issue for a college kid? Middle school kids have access to pot. It is what it is, we just have to try to keep our kids safe.

  • Robbie

    Tough week! Blacks running away, beheading white women, murdering college students, riots in the projects and shaking babies. That doesn’t include the usual shootings, robberies, drug arrests and domestic violence arrests. I even saw where a few krackers were arrested although I don’t see how the police had time given the problems that 15% of the population cause on any given day.

  • deast1115

    Yes, the world is getting more wicked every day. Another sign the the LORD IS COMING SOON. The World needs to repent and put the morals back in our society. It is hard for people to even mention the name of God anymore. I am afraid America is going to pay a terrible price, especially calling for Israel to divide her land. Israel belongs to the Jewish people. ALL OF IT., especially Jerusalem, God’s holy city.

    • Belsma

      The “Lord” was supposed to “come” like 5 times already. He let us down. I mean I was all ready for HIM and sold all my belongings and it never happened! What am I to do now?

  • Paula

    @Belsma I agree with you about the bar knows he is in trouble with serving underage. I bet she s not the only student that he have serve. They need to pull his tape inside the ba.

  • wiseman

    Robbie with the rockhead. Tougher week for whites. They catching kids heads in car windows. Shooting up schools. Shooting in ups building. Stealing money off jobs. Stealing food out church kitchen.chaining their children to beds.Slapping teacher. Killing six of their grandkidsand then blowing his own head off. Now who do you think had the toughest week???

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