The suspect linked to the abduction of University of Virginia student Hannah Graham has been linked to yet another disappearance of another area college student who was killed nearly five years ago, Virginia State police said.
Forensic evidence ties Jesse Matthew Jr., who police believe abducted 18-year-old Graham from Charlottesville, Va., earlier this month, to the 2009 disappearance of a Virginia Tech student named Morgan Harrington, CBS affiliate WTVR report, citing sources close to the investigation.
“Last week, the arrest of Jesse L. Matthew Jr., 32, of Charlottesville, Va., provided a significant break in [the Harrington] case with a new forensic link for state police investigators to pursue,” Virginia State Police said in a statement. “There is a still a great deal of work to be done in regards to this investigation and we appreciate the public’s patience as we move forward.”
— Kendra Mann (@KendraDCNews) September 29, 2014
Harrington was last seen attending a Metallica concert in Charlottesville on Oct. 17, 2009, when she got separated from her friends. Her remains were found three months later on a farm 10 miles outside of Charlottesville. While police released few details regarding the cause of death, Harrington’s family said in 2010 she had been kidnapped, raped and murdered.
The station did not specify what the forensic link between the two cases was, but the evidence belonging to Matthew matched material collected during the investigation of Harrington’s murder. Authorities believe evidence shows Harrington had some sort of contact with Matthew.
In 2012, the FBI released a sketch of a man believed to have had contact with Harrington, and said her disappearance was linked to a 2005 sex assault in Fairfax, reports Fox News.
Graham was last seen in the early morning of Sept. 13. Five days later, police searched Matthew’s car and apartment after studying surveillance footage and talking with witnesses. The next day, Matthew fled the state but was later arrested in Galveston, Texas, on Sept. 24, after police were alerted of a suspicious man camping on the beach on Bolivar Peninsula.
Did the Hannah Graham Suspect Abduct Another College Student in 2009?