Hannah Graham vanished without a trace on September 13. Although Jesse Matthew was arrested and charged in her abduction, her whereabouts remain unknown. Authorities have now revealed that DNA evidence links Matthew to a 2009 murder.
University of Virginia student Hannah Graham was last seen leaving the Tempo Bar & Restaurant with Jesse Matthew — who was later identified as a person of interest in her disappearance. During a subsequent search of Matthew’s apartment and vehicle, authorities recovered several pieces of evidence linking him to Hannah Graham.
Matthew was eventually arrested on several charges, including kidnapping with intent to defile. Although he remains incarcerated, Matthew has refused to discuss Hannah’s disappearance.
In 2009, Morgan Harrington vanished under similar circumstances. On the evening of October 17, the 20-year-old Virginia Tech student attended a Metallic concert at the John Paul Jones Arena.
At approximately 8:00 p.m., Morgan left the arena to use the restroom. Unfortunately, she walked through the wrong door and was denied re-entry into the building. Morgan texted her friends to explain what happened. She also stated that she was going to find a ride home. Morgan was never seen or heard from again.
Three months later, Morgan’s body was discovered approximately 10 miles from the arena. According to reports she was violently assaulted and sexually abused.
Following Hannah Graham’s disappearance, residents and authorities speculated that the same suspect could have been responsible for both crimes. As reported by CNN, Virginia authorities have now confirmed that DNA evidence links Jesse Matthew to Morgan Harrington.
In addition to the Hannah’s abduction and Harrington’s murder, Matthew could be linked to several unsolved cases — including a 2005 sexual assault. WUSA 9 reports that authorities are also reviewing the cases of two other missing women “to see if there is a possible link.”
Samantha Ann Clarke, 19, vanished from outside her Orange County home in 2010. In 2012, DaShad Laquinn Smith, 19, was reported missing in Charlottesville. Both women remain missing, and no suspects were named in their disappearances.
Matthew’s father, Jesse Matthew Sr., said his son is not capable of harming anyone.
“For a big man, he’s as gentle as they come… The only thing I could see, him, maybe trying to give the girl a ride or help her out… To kill or hurt somebody, that’s not my son.”
However, in 2002, the suspect was accused of raping a fellow student at Liberty University. Although Matthew was questioned, the victim refused to press charges.
As authorities continue to search for Hannah Graham, they are also attempting to determine if Jesse Matthew was involved in several other unsolved crimes.
[Images via Read the Hook]