UPDATE: Police arrest Matthew in Galveston, Texas

Matthew to face magistrate Thursday morning, likely to be denied bail


Charlottesville Police Chief Timothy Longo announced Matthew's arrest at a press conference Wednesday evening.

Charlottesville resident Jesse Matthew was taken into police custody Wednesday in Galveston, Texas, Charlottesville Police Chief Timothy Longo confirmed at a press conference Wednesday evening. Police have been searching for Matthew since Saturday in connection with the disappearance of second-year College year student Hannah Graham. Graham has been missing since early morning Sept. 13.

"The hero today is a deputy with the Galveston County Sheriff's Office," said Adam Lee, the FBI special agent in charge of the Richmond division.

Matthew will go before a magistrate Thursday morning in Galveston as part of the extradition process. Galveston County Judge Mark Henry said Matthew will likely be denied bail.

Matthew was apprehended on a beach in Bolivar Peninsula around 3:30 p.m. Central Standard Time Wednesday. A citizen made a call to the Galveston County Sheriff’s Office to report a suspicious person who had set up a tent. Two deputies made contact and ran the license plates on his nearby vehicle, which came back as belonging to a “fugitive from justice” in Virginia, Henry said.

The beach is unincorporated and geographically dislocated from the city of Galveston, though the area falls in Galveston County’s jurisdiction. Matthew was taken into custody and brought back to the mainland on a ferry.

“I understand [Matthew] put up no resistance,” Henry said. “Virginia is asking that we hold him with no bond.”

Matthew has been formally processed and is being held in a Galveston County jail.

Police announced Tuesday Matthew was wanted for abduction with intent to defile in addition to two charges for reckless driving issued Saturday.

Lee called the arrest a “positive close to this chapter of this very important case.”

Longo declined to comment as to whether Matthew turned himself into police or was forcibly apprehended, but did say police have begun the extradition process.

The reward for information related to Graham’s missing person case has been raised to $100,000.

The search for Matthew began when officers overtly monitoring his movement watched Matthew flee Charlottesville at a high rate of speed. The officers were forced to disengage for their own safety.

Matthew voluntarily went to the police station earlier Saturday and asked to speak to a lawyer. He did not speak with police at that time.

Longo said police believe Matthew was the last person seen with Graham before she disappeared. Matthew can be seen walking with Graham on surveillance footage captured by Tuel Jewelers on the Downtown Mall, timestamped at 1:08 a.m.

Charlottesville attorney Jim Camblos confirmed Wednesday he has been acting as Matthew's counsel since Saturday.

Longo thanked local, state and federal agents for their assistance in apprehending Matthew.

"By the grace of God and the good work of the Galveston Sheriff's Office, this [arrest] took place," Longo said.

The University confirmed Wednesday that Matthew, who had been employed by the Medical Center as a patient technician since Aug. 2012, has been suspended without pay as a result of the charges.

Headmaster George Sanker of The Covenant School in Charlottesville said Matthew is also no longer a volunteer with the school's football team, a position he started in August.

"He is no longer associated with the school in any capacity," Sanker said in an email.

Police would not confirm if Matthew provided further information regarding Graham’s possible location.

“We have a person in custody, but there’s a long road ahead of us,” Longo said. “And that road involves finding Hannah Graham.”

related stories