Arrest Warrant Issued for Missing Student Person of Interest Traffic Violation

Cops say he sped away after showing up at police station.

September 21, 2014, 4:50 PM

— -- An arrest warrant has been issued for a person of interest in the disappearance of University of Virginia student Hannah Graham, but he is not being sought for anything to do with the case.

Charlottesville, Va., police said today they are looking for Jesse L. Matthew, 32, on two counts of reckless driving, because he sped away from the police station Saturday after showing up there and asking for a lawyer.

Police say Matthew was seen driving at a high rate of speed, before he evaded capture by authorities monitoring his whereabouts.

Matthew is still a "person with whom we would like to talk to about the whereabouts of Hannah Graham," Charlottesville Police Chief Timothy Longo said.

"I believe Jesse Matthew was the last person she was seen with before she vanished off the face of the Earth because it's been a week and we can't find her," Longo said.

The chief has reiterated that police are not calling Matthew a suspect, just someone who could have useful information about what happened to Graham.

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Police identified Matthew as a person of interest because they believe he is the last person seen with the 18-year-old student before she disappeared early on Sept. 13.

They have searched his car and apartment, but now are awaiting forensic tests, the police chief said.

"We searched the apartment of Jesse Matthew. Those searches are over. They've been completed," he said. "We're waiting to hear back from the department of forensic science as to whether any evidence was recovered."

Graham's parents also spoke today, adding their appeal to the police call for help in the search.

"All we want to do now is to bring Hannah home safely and I appeal to anybody who knows anything please, please help us," John Graham said.

"This is every parent's worst nightmare," he said. "We need to find out what happened to Hannah and make sure it happens to no one else."

They thanked the nearly 1,000 volunteers who turned out Saturday to help police in their search for clues to what happened to Graham.

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