Forensic DNA evidence linked Hannah Graham suspect Jesse Matthew to the 2009 killing of Morgan Harrington, another University of Virginia student, the U.K.’s Daily Mail reported Monday. Virginia State Police confirmed “a new forensic link” in the disappearance of Morgan in 2009.
“Last week, the arrest of Jesse L. Matthew Jr., 32, of Charlottesville, Virginia, provided a significant break in [the Harrington] case with a new forensic link for state police investigators to pursue," State Police spokeswoman Corinne Geller said in a statement, according to Fox News. "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."
Morgan’s family said the “significant break” in the case gave them relief. Harrington’s mother Gil told WTVR-TV, Richmond: “We worked five years to get to this point, so we are relieved.” Harrington went missing after a Metallica concert at UVA was found dead three months later. She had been raped.
Matthew, 32, was arrested on a beach near Galveston, Texas, Wednesday. He waived extradition to Virginia. It’s not known why or how he traveled from Virginia to Texas. Matthew is accused of abduction with the intent to defile in the Graham case.
Graham was last seen with Matthew Sept. 13 and she has yet to be found. The reward to find her was raised to $100,000. Police have received more than 1,500 tips since her disappearance. If anyone has information on Graham’s whereabouts, they are asked to call the police tip line at 434-295-385 or the Jefferson Area Crime Stoppers at 434-977-4000.
“We are heartbroken for her family. We know what they’re going through,” Harrington’s mother told WTVR about Graham’s disappearance. “Police need information. They need to process tips. Please reach out to police and do not be the filter. Even if you think it does not make sense, let police be the filter.”
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