Police release wanted poster for Matthew, University confirms employment status

Matthew reportedly in possession of 1997 light blue Nissan Sentra


Police issued a wanted poster Monday for Charlottesville resident and University employee Jesse “LJ” Matthew, who was seen walking with Hannah Graham the night of her disappearance.

Police identified Matthew as a person of interest in the investigation Sunday, saying he is the last confirmed person to have seen Graham before she disappeared the morning of Sept. 13.

Jesse "LJ" Matthews described as 6-foot 2-inches and 270 pounds, with a dark complexion, brown eyes and black hair.

University spokesperson McGregor McCance confirmed Matthew is a patient technician in the operating room at the University Medical Center. He was hired in Aug. 2012.

Matthew is described as 32-year-old black male. He is 6-foot 2-inches and 270 pounds, with a dark complexion, brown eyes and black hair. Matthew has not been identified as a suspect in the investigation.

Matthew is currently wanted for two counts of reckless driving, a class-one misdemeanor under Virginia state law. According to the wanted poster, Matthew is reportedly in possession of his sister’s 1997 light blue Nissan Sentra with a Virginia tag of VAC4575. The poster also lists a $50,000 reward for information leading to Graham.

Charlottesville Police Chief Timothy Longo said Sunday officers who were overtly monitoring Matthew's movement watched him flee at a high rate of speed Saturday afternoon. Though they initially pursued him, police were forced to disengage for their own safety.

Charlottesville Police Captain Gary Pleasants also confirmed police conducted a second search on Matthew’s Hessian Hills apartment Monday afternoon.

“We did conduct a second search of Jesse Matthew's apartment today and we did take some items from there,” Pleasants said. “During the investigation, things came to our attention that we needed to look for. We went back, searched for those and removed several items.”

Police are currently waiting on evidence from the Department of Forensic Sciences to reveal more about the case. Longo said Sunday he is prepared to put significant pressure on the department if his team does not receive results by Tuesday morning.

Anyone with information is asked to call the tip line at 434-295-3851.

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