Graham search team finds human remains off Old Lynchburg Road

Remains not yet identified, case now "death investigation"

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Charlottesville Police Chief Timothy Longo said a search team looking for evidence in the investigation into the disappearance of second-year College student Hannah Graham found human remains shortly before noon Saturday.

Joseph Liss | Cavalier Daily

A police search crew looking for evidence related to the disappearance of second-year College student Hannah Graham found human remains shortly before noon Saturday.

Charlottesville Police Chief Timothy Longo said the team from the Chesterfield County Sheriff's office made the discovery while searching an abandoned property on Old Lynchburg Road.

The remains have not yet been identified, but Albemarle County Police Chief Steve Sellers said the Graham case is now a "death investigation" which will be handled by the Albemarle County Police Department.

“As soon as the discovery was made, the Albemarle County Police Department, the Charlottesville City Police Department and the Virginia State Police responded to the scene to begin the investigative process,” Sellers said. “The remains will be taken to the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner for autopsy and investigation.”

Police have not disclosed the exact location where the remains were found, but an area of Old Lynchburg Road around Walnut Creek Park — about 11 miles southwest of the University — was blocked off Saturday and Sunday. Albemarle County Police have also established a police command center inside the park.

Detective Sergeant James Mooney, who led the investigation into Graham's disappearance, called Graham's parents Saturday to inform them of the update.

Graham was last seen by eyewitnesses on the Downtown Mall in the early morning hours of Sept. 13. Charlottesville resident Jesse Matthew is being held on a charge of abduction with intent to defile in the Graham case and faces a Dec. 4 court date.

Sellers said police are likely to release only limited information about the evidence found as the investigation continues.

“So I’m asking the public’s patience as we moved forward and pursue a new, ongoing death investigation,” Sellers said. “We can’t, we cannot, we will not jump to any conclusions about today’s discovery.”

The Virginia Department of Emergency Management canceled a community search of Walnut Creek Park, originally scheduled for Sunday.

Past articles on the Hannah Graham Investigation:

Graham investigation passes one-month mark as police continue search efforts

Students, community members step forward to help with Graham search

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