Police Continue Search for Missing UVA Student, 18 Year Old Hannah Graham in Charlottesville, VA … Surveillance Video Showed She Was Followed (Update: Police Search for Man last seen talking to Missing Coed)
The search continues for 18 year old University of Virginia student Hannah Graham in Charlottesville, VA. Hannah Graham has been missing since 9/13/14, she was last seen by friends at Camden Plaza about 11:50 p.m. Friday, according to Facebook posts. Her last contact with friends via text message at 1:20 a.m. on Saturday saying she was lost walking home from a party near 14th and Wertland. Police are reviewing surveillance video showing the most recent time a missing University of Virginia student has been seen.
Surveillance video released Wednesday shows 18-year-old, second-year student Hannah Graham heading downtown early Saturday morning. Wednesday night, Charlottesville police released surveillance videos from Sal’s Caffe Italia – at 1:06 a.m. Saturday – and from Tuel Jewelers – at 1:08 a.m. – that show Graham walking on the downtown mall. A man is seen walking in front of Graham. He stops and is then seen walking behind her. Two minutes later, Graham is seen walking with another woman with the same man following them. The man has identified himself and has spoken to police, saying he followed Graham to see if she needed help. He says he saw another man put his arm around Graham, and now police are looking for that second man.
Thursday, police will pull more surveillance video to see where she and the unidentified man went next.
During a police press conference at CitySpace Wednesday afternoon, new surveillance video was shown. The video shows Graham in front of McGrady’s Irish Pub on Grady Avenue at 12:46 Saturday morning. Nine minutes later, at 12:55 a.m., security cameras at the Shell gas station caught Graham running, then walking, along Preston Avenue headed toward the downtown mall. Police say no one is seen chasing her in the surveillance video. Five minutes later, at 1 a.m., an eyewitness sitting in a car by Fellini’s restaurant spotted Graham turning the corner from Market Street heading toward the downtown mall on Second Street northwest. Surveillance video also shows her walking by Sal’s at 1:06 a.m. and by Tuel Jewelers at 1:08 a.m. A final text from Graham’s cellphone was sent at 1:20 a.m. saying she was lost back over by the UVA corner.
Charlottesville police put a call out for security camera footage from any other downtown businesses on Friday night or Saturday morning.
At a Wednesday press conference Charlottesville Police Chief Timothy Longo said they had received over 100 tips, interviewed over 50 people and had new video to examine.
Detectives visited businesses on the Downtown Mall, a pedestrian area located just over a mile away from the UVa. campus, to see if anyone had surveillance video that might show Graham’s path the night she disappeared.
Wednesday evening Capt. Gary Pleasants told CBS 6 reporter Melissa Hipolit that they examined two new videos, which showed an unidentified white male following Graham.
Pleasants then said that the man in the video came to the police station, and said he had also left his story on the tip line.
He told police that he was walking with her to make sure she was okay, because she seemed physically distressed and he “wanted to make sure she got safely wherever she was going.”
The updated timeline of the last hours anyone heard from Graham looks like this:
- 11: 50 p.m. Friday — Graham last seen by friends at Camden Plaza Apartments, in the 200 block of 14th Street NW.
- 12:45 a.m. Saturday — Graham seen on surveillance video outside of McGrady’s Pub on Grady Street.
- 12:55 a.m. Saturday — Graham seen on Shell station surveillance video on Preston Ave.
- 1 a.m. Saturday — Witness reports seeing Graham on Downtown Mall
- 1:06 a.m. Saturday — Video captures Graham in front of Sal’s, continuing to walk east along the mall.
- 1:08 a.m. Saturday — Graham seen in front of Tuel Jewelers.
- 1:20 a.m. Saturday — Graham sends a text to friends saying she was lost in the area around 14th and Wertland Streets.
Seeking the public’s help, authorities released a description of a man who a witness said approached the student in an off-campus pedestrian mall.
The unidentified man reportedly spoke with Hannah Graham shortly after 1 a.m. Saturday and put his arm around her as she walked along the Downtown Mall on East Main Street, a row of stores east of the University of Virginia’s main campus. Police want to speak with the man and consider him a “person of interest” but as yet have given no indication that he is directly connected to Graham’s disappearance.
If you have information on this case, call the dedicated tip line: 434-295-3851 at the Charlottesville Police Department.