ecently, a sophomore at the University of Virginia, Hannah Graham, was reported missing. She met her friends for dinner, stopped off at two different parties off campus and was seen leaving alone from the second party. She had texted her friends at 1:20 am to let them know she had been lost trying to get home. The police have surveillance tapes showing this lovely young woman walking and sometimes running, past strips of stores in this city of close to 44,000 people. The police have named a person of interest in the case, Jesse Matthew, who was last seen with Heather.
Jesse Matthew showed up at the police station voluntarily with his family and asked for a lawyer. He was at the station for about an hour before seen speeding off in a car. What doesn’t connect is that the tapes show Graham walking alone during the last known hours before her disappearance – so why is this man a person of interest? Is it based solely on the fact he was the last to talk to her? She was seen on tape talking to someone in front of a bar on her way home. Is this individual a person of interest as well?
A report confirms that Graham is the third woman in this area to go missing this summer. Janet Renee Field, 49, went missing July 3rd ; two weeks later, Bonnie Santiago, 56, went missing after 1 a.m. Neither of these women has been found. Prior to this summer’s cases, a Virginia Tech student, Morgan Harrington, 20, disappeared during a Metallica concert in October of 2009. Her remains were found on an Albemarle farm three months later. There have been no arrests made in this case. In 2010, 19 year old Samantha Ann Clarke was reported missing with no leads to her whereabouts. DaShad Smith disappeared in November 2012 with no suspects, as well.
Only one of the missing women have been found, while families are left wondering or hoping for their loved ones to come home or be found. Morgan Harrington was found to be raped and murdered. DNA has been linked to another attempted abduction in Fairfax City. Is there a serial killer in Virginia that no one wants to admit to? Is there a connection here that either cannot be pieced together because the bodies have not been found or because authorities do not want a wave of panic to hit their lovely city? If this is the work of the same killer, his cooling off period has become shorter, when will he strike again?
Is it time to connect the dots in Virginia – and perhaps in similar cases around the country? What’s your theory?