Man charged with abducting missing Virginia student in custody in Galveston

By The Associated Press, Jace Larson - Investigative Reporter, Keith Garvin - Anchor/Reporter

GALVESTON, Texas - Just a day after police in Charlottesville, Virginia, released a wanted poster and a warrant for his arrest, authorities say they have captured a 32-year-old man in connection to the kidnapping of a University of Virginia student.

Charlottesville Police Chief Timothy Longo said Wednesday that 32-year-old Jesse Leroy Matthew Jr. is in custody in Galveston.

Matthew is charged with abduction with intent to defile in the case of 18-year-old Hannah Graham, who has been missing since Sept. 13.
The Galveston County Sheriff's Office said Matthew was located on the beach in Gilchrist on the Bolivar Peninsula around 3:30 p.m. Wednesday.

According to Galveston County Judge Mark Henry, deputies received a call about a suspicious person camping in a tent on the beach. A deputy responded and ran the license plate of the suspicious person's vehicle.

The license plate came back as "hot," or wanted, said Henry, who was briefed on the circumstances.

Henry told Local 2 investigative reporter Jace Larson that Matthew did not resist arrest. The light blue Nissan Sentra found nearby was impounded.
Longo said the search for Matthew was a collaborative effort consisting of the FBI, and state and local law enforcement across the country, but he doesn't know what led Matthew to South Texas.

"We don't, at present, have any information as to what might have prompted Mr. Matthew to head to that part of the country," said Longo at a press conference announcing the arrest.

Deputies escorted Matthew into the Galveston County Jail around 7:30 p.m. Wednesday. One of their primary questions will be, "Where is Graham?"
"This case is nowhere near over," said Longo. "We have a person in custody, but there's a long road ahead of us and that long road includes finding Hannah Graham."

In a statement Galveston County Sheriff Henry Trochesset said investigators from Charlottesville will be headed to Galveston Thursday.
Matthew is expected to appear before a judge Thursday morning.

Police had been looking for Matthew since Sept. 20, when he sped away from officers who had him under surveillance after he left the Charlottesville police station. He had gone there with his mother and uncle to ask for a lawyer after police searched his car and apartment, and said they wanted to question him about Graham's disappearance.

Graham vanished after leaving an off-campus party alone.

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