UPDATED: Family Releases Statement as Police Expand Search for Hannah Graham

Hannah Elizabeth Graham
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Sept. 16, 2014

On Tuesday, Charlottesville Police expanded the search for missing University of Virginia student Hannah Elizabeth Graham after they received new information and dozens of tips.

Police say that they have received over 60 tips from people calling in about 18-year-old Hannah's disappearance.

Graham, a 2nd-year UVa student, is described as a white female, approximately 5 feet 11 inches tall with light brown hair and freckles.

Police say that a surveillance tape from McGrady's Irish pub shows Graham walking east along Grady Avenue at 12:46 am on early Saturday morning.

"There's surveillance video from McGrady's Pub up on Grady Avenue, near Preston Avenue, showing our missing person there for several minutes,” said Captain Gary Pleasants with Charlottesville Police. “It appears that she was talking to someone then walking away."

Police say they have no plans to release the surveillance tape.

Friends say Graham was heading to a party and phone records show that she last sent a text to friends around 1:20 am on Saturday.

"She said that she was lost,” said Pleasants. “There were a couple of conflicting things in the text message about where she had been but now this makes since."

She was also seen earlier in the evening on Friday night around the Camden Plaza apartments off of 14th Street.

The Albemarle County Sheriff’s Office has joined in on the search, walking along Preston Ave. near McGrady's.

"Time is if the essence, and where you are looking for somebody it's gotta be quick and you gotta follow up on leads if you have them,” Albemarle Co. Chief Deputy Bobby Shiflett said. “Daytime you can definitely see better as far as a search perspective that you want. You want to make sure that you can see."

There have been 30 to 40 people out helping with the search, including crews from the Blue Ridge Mountain Search Group and the Virginia Department of Emergency Management Services.

The FBI is assisting with the investigation as well.

Hannah Graham’s family issued the following statement Tuesday regarding the disappearance of their daughter;

“Since learning of Hannah’s disappearance, we have been heartbroken and at the same time heartened by the outpouring of support and help we have received. We remain hopeful that Hannah will be found soon. We urge anyone with any information, however insignificant it may seem, to call a newly dedicated tip line at 434-295-3851 at the Charlottesville Police Department.

“Those of us who know and love Hannah know that she would not disappear without contacting family or friends. She is highly responsible and organized. She embraces life with energy and enthusiasm and has enriched the lives of many. Her empathy is evident in her daily interactions with us and her friends. She loves the University of Virginia, and all summer she was looking forward to the start of the new school year. U.Va. is her intellectual home, a place that stimulates her thinking on a broad variety of topics. Socially, she has found kinship and passion with her fellow members of the Ski Team.

“We express our sincere gratitude to law enforcement and everyone who is involved in the search for Hannah. We also thank the University for the full attention they are devoting to the situation. The kindness and support of so many – her friends at U.Va., particularly her friends on the Ski Team, her friends from high school, our neighbors, and the larger community – mean so much to us at this difficult time.

“Please join us in our fervent wish for Hannah’s safe return home. Once again, if you have any information at all, however insignificant it may seem, please call 434-295-3851.

"John, Susan, and James Graham"

The family asks that the public and news media respect its privacy at this time.

If you have any information on where Hannah Elizabeth Graham might be you are asked to call CrimeStoppers at 434-977-4000, or the tip line at 434-295-3851.

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