Remains Found Identified As Hannah Graham

by Jenny Hollander

On Friday, an autopsy confirmed that the remains found near an abandoned property in rural Virginia are that of missing teenager Hannah Graham. When the remains were found by a search party next weekend, Graham's missing-persons case was changed to a death investigation and all searches were called off. Graham disappeared in the early hours of Sept. 13 near the University of Virginia campus, where Graham was a student.

In a statement announcing the positive identification, Albermarle County police said:

On Saturday, October 18th human remains were discovered in southern Albemarle County. The remains were sent to the Medical Examiner’s Office in Richmond for examination and positive identification. The Medical Examiner’s Office has confirmed that these are the remains of Hannah Graham, 18, of Fairfax, Va. Following the positive identification, Albemarle County Police Chief, Colonel Steve Sellers and ACPD Detective Sergeant Terry Wall notified Hannah’s parents, John and Sue Graham. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the Graham family and Hannah’s friends during this incredibly difficult time. We ask that you respect their privacy.

Shortly before her disappearance, Graham had texted friends to say she was lost, and witnesses testified that she seemed disorientated. Almost two weeks after Graham went missing, 32-year-old Virginia resident Jesse Matthew was arrested and charged with abduction with intent to defile. Graham has also been connected to the 2009 murder of Virginia Tech student Morgan Harrington, whose murderer has never been found.

The remains were found in a shallow grave in southern Albemarle County, and Graham's parents were notified shortly thereafter that the remains were suspected to belong to Graham.

On Friday morning, Graham's parents visited the site where their daughter's remains were found.