DNA evidence links Jesse Matthew, a suspect in the disappearance of University Student Hannah Graham to the death of Virginia Tech Student Morgan Harrington, who disappeared in 2009, a law enforcement source told CNN Monday. And state authorities are checking other unsolved homicide cases in case there is a connection between them.
Virginia State Police had said earlier that the two cases were connected by “forensic link” but did not elaborate. Almost from the start, speculation was raised about the possibility of a connection between Graham’s disappearance and Harrington’s death.
In a statement, James L Cambloss III, Matthew’s lawyer, said he met with his client for two in a half hours Monday, but declined further comment. “Because everything is under seal, I have not been able to provide with any evidence that links him to either of these cases,” he said referring to Graham and Harrington. Matthew is to have a bond hearing tomorrow.
Authorities are currently studying other unsolved homicide and missing person cases in Virginia. Harrington was a 20-year-old Virginia Tech student when she went missing after attending a Metallica concert in Charlottesville on October 2009. Her remains were found on a farm months later. No arrests have been made in Harrington’s case, and the cause of her death is still under investigation.
Graham was last seen September 13 in an area of Charlottesville known as the Downtown Mall. Police have asked owners of large parcels of property in surrounding counties to search their land and report back. Authorities are offering $100,000 reward for information leading to the safe return of Graham, 18, who was a second-year student at the university.
Investigators say they believe Matthew was the last person with Graham. He is charged with abduction with the intent to defile in the case, according to Charlottesville police.