Jesse Matthew was working as taxi driver night Morgan Harrington vanished

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CHARLOTTESVILLVE, Va. -- Sources confirm that at least two local cab employees informed federal and state investigators that Jesse Matthew Jr. -- the man behind bars for the abduction of missing University of Virginia student Hannah Graham -- was working as a cab driver the night murdered Virginia Tech student Morgan Harrington disappeared.

Those sources indicated Matthew was among the cab drivers who police interviewed after Harrington disappeared. Virginia State Police was not the agency that interviewed Matthew.

As CBS 6 News reporter Laura French first reported that forensic evidence also links Matthew to Harrington on the night she vanished, French has also learned that investigators have interviewed at least 20 other cab employees from around Charlottesville to learn more about that October night as they did after Harrington went missing after leaving the John Paul Jones Arena.

Sources said Jesse Matthew was one of the cab drivers on the road  on Oct. 17, 2009 five years ago.

File photo of Jesse Matthew - person of interest in Hannah Graham case.

File photo of Jesse Matthew - person of interest in Hannah Graham case.

Career cab Driver Melvin Carter, who knew Matthew, said he reached out to investigators five years ago after being questioned about local cab companies.

"Everything is starting to add up everything is starting to add up," Carter said. "I asked which taxi cab she got into they said, 'Yes, she did jump into a taxi cab that night before last being seen alive.'"

Sources also confirmed that the cab that Matthew drove in 2009 was seized by authorities from a farm two weeks ago as part of their active investigation.

"He could have made an impression on her. Because what I heard from her mental state, she was upset. So she may have found someone who was loving and trusting and comfort her," Carter said.

Those close to Matthew in 2009 when Harrington disappeared, told CBS 6 News that they informed investigators that they would joke with their former co-worker that he resembled a sketch of the man linked to a 2005 rape in Fairfax -- and the man linked to Harrington. They said Matthew would at times brush it off. But at other times, they said Matthew would get visibly upset and disappear for hours.

New FBI sketch of Morgan Harrington suspect

FBI sketch of Morgan Harrington suspect

Dan Harrington, Morgan Harrington's father, said he is encouraged by this latest possible break, but said that the news is still bittersweet since his daughter was murdered.

But the family has been waiting for this, and as more pieces of the puzzle are coming together, that opens more doors as investigators build their case to find justice for his daughter.

Search for Hannah Graham Enters Third Week

As the search for a missing University of Virginia student entered a third week on Sunday, Charlottesville Police Chief Tim Longo vowed to keep combing the countryside for Hannah Graham.

Longo said the search will not end until they find Graham.

“If you have a well on your property, search it. If you have an abandoned structure or abandoned car on your property, search it,” Longo said. “We have made the commitment to her parents and we will honor the commitment to find Hannah.”

There were about 60 Virginia State Troopers on the ground searching alongside other specialized teams out for another daylong search for the missing student on Sunday.

One member of the search team likened the hunt to searching for the bread crumbs that will lead them to Hannah in this puzzling case. For example, any clue could help find her. From her cell phone to shoes, investigators said those things would point crews in the right direction.

The department has received 3,300 tips and has covered 700 square miles.

“Every square inch of Albemarle County will be searched this weekend,” Longo promised.

Through dense terrain and open fields, officers from all over the state were on foot and on ATVs. Additionally, officers on horseback joined the search Monday. And a drone had also been used in the search.


How easily was Jesse Matthew’s DNA taken and tested in Hannah Graham case?

The arrest of Jesse Matthew has raised questions and inquiries as to the nature of DNA, how it is collected and from what is it collected and tested.

Forensic psychologist Mike Banks told CBS 6 News how easily DNA is left behind.

“If I put my hand on this car door, DNA is left behind,” Banks said.

Banks said DNA is typically left in cars on seat belts and arm rests getting in and out.

“I’m an old geezer – hair can be falling out,” Banks said. “One single hair can prove the fact at least I was here.”

In terms of extracting DNA, Banks says it is typically done using a black light and cotton swab.

After that, the cotton swab is taken to a DNA lab where it is placed in a reagent for several hours. At that point, the liquid is able to be analyzed by a machine to determine any potential match.

Arcpoint lab specialist Michelle Smith, who works with DNA in determining paternity tests, says the biggest error comes in the collection of the cells, when cotton swabs may contain more than one person’s DNA.

“It could possibly interfere with the accuracy of the results,” Smith said.

Harrington Graham connection

DNA links Jesse Matthew to Morgan Harrington Case

Sources close to the investigation confirmed to CBS 6 reporter Laura French that Jesse Matthew Jr. has been forensically linked to the 2009 disappearance of 20-year-old Virginia Tech student Morgan Harrington.

Matthew is the primary suspect in the case of missing 18-year-old University of Virginia student Hannah Graham. Graham was last seen leaving a bar with Matthew, on Sept. 13.

Law enforcement sources indicated that forensic evidence belonging to Matthew  matched forensic evidence collected during the Harrington investigation.

The sources would not indicate what Matthew may or may not have done with Harrington, however the sources indicated that the forensic evidence match showed Harrington had some sort of contact with Matthew the night she disappeared outside John Paul Jones arena on October 17, 2009. Her remains were found in January 2010 on an Albemarle County farm.

Officials at Christopher Newport University confirmed they opened a disciplinary file on Matthew.  for a reported sexual assault that happened in 2003, when he was briefly a student there and a member of the football team.

Matthew, age 32, is currently charged in the abduction, with intent to defile, of missing University of Virginia second-year student Hannah Graham.

Matthew attended the CNU from January 2003 through October 15, 2003. He was a member of the football team from August 14 to Sept. 12, 2003.

“Students don’t usually leave in the second month of the semester or leave the football team within a month,” wrote a university official in a press release.

There is a single file related to Matthew at CNU. However, the University said they are withholding this record pursuant to the exception from mandatory disclosure, in cooperation with law-enforcement agencies.

Matthew also was questioned in connection with an alleged sexual assault nearly 12 years ago, authorities said.

But no charges were filed because the woman didn’t want to go forward with the case and investigators determined there wasn’t enough evidence to arrest Matthew, said Michael Doucette, the commonwealth’s attorney for Lynchburg, Virginia.

According to a statement from Lynchburg police, the woman reported she was raped on the campus of Liberty University on October 17, 2002.

Matthew told authorities that the woman consented, Doucette said, adding that there were no witnesses.

Matthew’s father spoke publicly, for the first time, to CBS 6. He said his son would not have harmed Graham.

“For a big man, he’s as gentle as they come,” Jesse Matthew Sr. said. “The only thing I could see, him, maybe trying to give the girl a ride or help her out.

“To kill or hurt somebody, that’s not my son.”

Matthew’s Virginia-based lawyer had little to say about his client when approached outside his Charlottesville office.

“I am Mr. Matthew’s attorney,” James Camblos said. “I was hired on Saturday. That’s the only thing that I’m going to confirm at this point. The family and I — nobody is making any statements at this point in time. We might later on, but right now we are not.”

Matthew willingly went to a police station, along with several family members, walking through the front door and asking for a lawyer, Longo said. There was no warrant for his arrest at that time.

Matthew and the lawyer spoke and then left, the police chief said, giving detectives no clearer picture of what may have happened the day Graham disappeared. Because he has retained counsel, police cannot question him.

Incidents Jesse Matthew Jr.  has been connected to:

  • Oct. 17, 2002 – Alleged sexual assault at Liberty University

  • Sept. 7, 2003 – Reported CNU assault

  • Sept. 24, 2005 – Northern Virginia rape (forensic evidence linked to Morgan Harrington case)

  • Oct. 17, 2009 – Morgan Harrington disappearance

  • Sept. 13, 2014 – Hannah Graham disappearance

Law enforcement investigating cases for possible connection to Matthew:

  • July 24, 2003 — Autumn Day in Newport News
  • Sept. 7, 2003 – Sophia Rivera in Newport News
  • August 26, 2009 – Heidi Childs and David Metzler, in Blacksburg
  • Oct. 10, 2009 – Cassandra Morton, not far from Lynchburg
  • Sept. 13, 2010 – Samantha Clarke, in Orange County

Cases unsolved in the area near Charlottesville 

  • Jan. 24, 2010 – Joan Cook, Roanoke County

  • Nov. 21, 2011 — Lauren Smith, Madison County

  • Nov. 20, 2012 — Dashad Sage Smith, Charlottesville

  • August 3, 2013 – Alexis Murphy, Shipman (Randy Taylor jailed for this, body never

Anyone with information about Jesse Matthew, Hannah Graham or Morgan Harrington is asked to call the tipline at 434-295-3851. All Hannah Graham surveillance videos can be seen here. All reports filed on this case can be found here.

Parents Plead: 'Come Forward and Tell Us Where Hannah Can be Found'

The parents of University of Virginia student Hannah Graham released an emotional video statement last weekend begging for help bringing their missing daughter home.

The 18-year-old was last seen spotted exactly three weeks ago in the early hours of Saturday, Sept 13 on Charlottesville’s Downtown Mall.

“Somebody listening me today either knows where Hannah is or knows someone who has that information,” Sue Graham said fighting back tears. “We appeal to you to come forward and tell us where Hannah can be found.”

John Graham, who first spoke publicly almost two weeks ago, sits beside his wife’s as she delivers the powerful statement.

“John has already said that this is every parent’s worst nightmare. That is true. But it is also nightmare for  our son, James, for Hannah’s grandparents, and other members of our family as well for Hannah’s many friends here in Charlottesville and beyond,” Sue Graham said.

Graham also said that despite an individual has been charged in Hannah’s abduction, and the massive search efforts, no trace of Hannah has been found.

“Help end this nightmare for all of us. Please help us to bring Hannah home,” Sue Graham begs as her husband takes his wife in his arms.

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


  • Michele

    There is no telling how many girls he murdered if he was a cab driver! Also no telling where there bodies may be! I truly believe he is a serial killer from what I have heard! Prayers for the family’s! So sad!

  • Julie

    Did anyone proofread this? Come on. This is embarrassing.
    ““Everything is starting to add up everything is starting to add up,” Carter said. “I asked which taxi cab she got into they said, ‘Yes, she did jump into a taxi cab that night before last being seen alive.’”
    “investigators have interviewed at least 20 other cab employees from around Charlottesville to learn more about that October night as they did after Harrington went missing after leaving the John Paul Jones Arena on Oct. 17, 2009.”
    “Officials at Christopher Newport University confirmed they opened a disciplinary file on Matthew. for a reported sexual assault that happened in 2003, when he was briefly a student there and a member of the football team.”

  • pieman

    “Jesse Matthew was working as taxi driver night Morgan Harrington vanished”
    And was working as a lifeguard that same night…

  • david

    I’ve never in favor of traffic [red light] cameras, but this case clinches it for me. Forget red light offenders, though–give the money to local businesses for security cameras and recorders to help catch robbers and murderers!

  • K Payne

    i don’t think that Hannah will be found. At least not locally. Matthew was found in Texas, so there is a good chance that Hannah could be somewhere along the route he drove to get there. So, so sad. My heart aches for her parents.

  • Kim

    Obviously the person who wrote this has no science background because you are claiming “black magic” for forensic processing of DNA which is completely wrong and just painful to read. You can’t just have evidence sit in “reagents” and ta-da you have DNA. That is not how it works at all and it’s an embarrassment to those forensic workers that are named in the article because it makes it sound like that is how they explained it to the author. If that is the case, they don’t know what they are talking about either and shouldn’t be working in the field. To be clear, DNA processing goes through several steps once COLLECTED using a swab, not extracted. Once in the lab, analysts lyse the cells to get the dna, then extract and purify it before quantifying the amount of DNA is present. Then they can run an amplification process that allows them to see specific targeted sequences on a separation system so they can visualize a profile from an individual or a mixed sample. If anything this process can take a full day to about a day and a half to process one set of samples. It isn’t black magic where you wave your magic wand and get the dna profile you are looking to get.


      The problem is KIM that the so called TAXI sat on a firkin FARM UNTOUCHED and the Carters Taxi that reported it to not a tip line but ACTUAL INVESTIGATORS on the case at the times WORDS WERE OBVIOUSLY NEVER FOLLOWED UP ON.. so instead the taxi SAT ON A FARM WHERE DNA COULD HAVE BEEN TAKEN IF THE INVESTIGATOR WHO TALKED TO THE MAN IN THE VIDEO TOOK HIM SERIOUS AND FOLLOWED UP! THEN……. Miss smarty pants…. 5 years of other GIRL being abducted, RAPED or MURDERED would have NOT HAPPENED if the INVESTIGATORS whom why by the way will NO ONE TAKE RESPONSIBILITY FOR IT….. had done their job and Mr & Mrs. Harrington would NOT have had to suffer for YEARS wondering who killed their GORGEOUS DAUGHTER……. so let us recap this in kindergarten terms for the hard to understand people…Kim




      • Kim

        First, your argument was not in any way relevant to what I was addressing. Secondly, there is a chance that they may be able to recover DNA from the car even after 5 years since it has not been “disturbed”. Since it has been 5 years, however, it will most likely be degraded and difficult to obtain a full profile. Even if the invesigators did collect evidence proving that Morgan (who I personally knew at Virginia Tech by the way) was in the cab, they still can’t charge LJ with murder because it all stands as circumstantial evidence. There’s no murder weapon and even though they can prove contact with LJ, there is no evidence that has come to light to prove that he was the one that laid a hand on her in a violent manner. It has not been revealed to the public the type of evidence that was found on Morgan’s shirt. If, in fact, the DNA came from a post-coital sample, then they could link LJ to her sexual assault (and not murder) without the evidence that they may or may not get from the taxi cab.

      • B

        How do we even know the cab was sitting there for 5 years? How do we know JM wasn’t still using the car for all/any of the abductions and then stored it there until he decided to strike again? Was it ever stated that it hadn’t recently been driven? Even though he no longer had his taxi license, it doesn’t mean he wasn’t actually still driving it. Does anyone know from which farm it was found?

    • NRVA2

      also, CBS6 obviously doesn’t care at all that they have completely contaminated the jury pool by trying this case in the media, all ammunition that will be used by Matthew’s defense attorney to his advantage. CBS6 has deliberately released prejudicial information to the public to incriminate Jesse Matthew without regard for the legal consequences of doing so making any resemblance to a fair process impossible. Good job, CBS6.

      • Belsma

        I don’t agree. There is so much we are not privy to. We got RAT behind bars in the disappearance of Alexis. DNA is key. Now only if we can find, Samantha, Sage, Alexis and now Hannah. We need to bring these kids home.

  • 結婚祝いプレゼント名前入り

    遠方からくる人もいるなかで地域で相場が違うのは困るな 金額記入って袋に入ってるのが金額と比べて
    身内で式だけ知り合いは二次会披露宴で15000考えてんだけど 関西人がいるとウルサイから3万。 結婚 祝い プレゼント ディズニー

    式場が儲けたいから言い出した事だからな従うこと無い 暑いです。梅雨明けまだです。久々に友人と温泉でリフレッシュします♪ 結婚挨拶 手土産 渡し方
    エキサイトの登録していた、とある医療関係のバツイチの女性が言っていました。 専用スレあるみたいだしこっちでやるか

  • Kristin

    i called the tip line 2 and 1/2 weeks ago about clothes and underwear being thrown out on my property and no one has followed up on that. If it’s not hannah if could be someone else. I would think they could at least come out and check or get the panties and clothes that were thrown out in my creek.

    • NRVA2

      why would they when they are trying hard to convince the public they have their man and are all set to convict?

    • Michelle

      There is nothing to small to make a difference if you didn’t get a call back follow your gut give yourself peace of mind sometimes it’s just stupid human error, report it again I bet you get someone’s attention!!!!!

  • james

    Charlottesville cops are inept. Also, everyone is letting his friends off easy. This is the third person who has said they joked with Matthew about resembling the sketch and he got upset about it and also grew out his hair. Maybe pick up the phone and call the cops….then again the cops likely wouldn’t do anything because they are the keystone cops….

  • burdyblue

    Make him talk and say where he hid Hannah. Hannah can’t talk anymore, Matthews took her voice away. Do I care about his rights? Nope.

  • Richard

    He was obviously using a cab as a tool. To be such a vile monster, he thought out each of his attacks. I’m just glad that the police out-smarted this animal. Excellent police work!

Comments are closed.

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