Police now think UVa. student Hannah Graham’s last text was incorrect

Posted at 1:21 AM, Sep 17, 2014
and last updated 2014-09-17 12:28:27-04

UPDATE: Police: Missing UVa. student Hannah Graham seen running past gas station, entering Downtown Mall

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. -- Tuesday afternoon a helicopter searched the area outside ofMcGrady's Irish Pub where 18-year-old Hannah Graham was last spotted on surveillance video, at 12:46 a.m. Saturday.

Graham, a second year University of Virginia student, can be seen on the street alone and headed in the opposite direction of her apartment, police said.

“I've been trying not to cry about it,” said Kristin who lives nearby.

She said the helicopter is an eerie reminder for UVa students who run or walk in this area, and now worry about their own safety.

“Even as I was walking tonight, I was thinking about this,” she said.

Graham has now been missing for nearly four days and the groups of several different search teams still have not found any sign of her. Unfortunately, police said, the family did not know Graham was missing until Sunday.

Police did say a blood hound picked up Graham's scent right outside the Irish pub; but where it led them, they're not saying.

“I don't want to get into any more details about the dog track, we've got things to follow up on,” said Police Capt. Gary Pleasants.

Search teams originally combed through other parts of Charlottesville on Monday, after they read a text Graham sent at 1:20 a.m., which stated that she was lost near 14th and Wertland Streets.

Now investigators don't believe she was in that area at all.

“We don't know whether it was auto correct on her phone or she just typed it in wrong, we have no idea,” Capt. Pleasants said.

He said police are now working with the Federal Bureau of Investigations to retrieve phone data that might show where that text was sent from.

“A lot of things happen when you send out messages and text, and we're following that,” Pleasants said. Police said Graham was “fairly well intoxicated” at the time she was last seen.

The timeline of the last hours anyone heard from her is as follows:

  • 11: 50 p.m. Friday, Graham was last seen by friends at Camden Plaza Apartments, in the 200 block of 14th Street NW.
  • 12:45 a.m. Saturday she was seen on surveillance video outside of McGrady’s Pub on Grady Street.
  • 1:20 a.m. Saturday, she sends a text to friends saying she was lost in the area around 14th and Wertland Streets.

Google maps indicates the distances between these places would make for substantial walks, especially for person "fairly well intoxicated," as police and friends say she was.

Pleasants said the camera outside McGrady’s Irish Pub showed Graham walking “in front of the building for several minutes, apparently it appears, maybe even talking to someone, and then walking away –leaving east bound on Grady at 12:46 a.m.."

That would be the opposite direction of her apartment, police said.

Graham is from Northern Virginia, and it is reported that she graduated from West Potomac High School in Fairfax County, in 2013.

Police described Graham as a 5’11” white female with a skinny build. She has blue eyes, light brown hair and freckles. She was last seen wearing a black crop top with mesh cut outs.

Anyone with information about Graham was asked to call Charlottesville Police Department at 434-970-3280 or CrimeStoppers at 434-977-4000.

“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,” her family said in a statement released through the University Tuesday.

“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.”