Police search for ‘person of interest’ in UVa. student Hannah Graham disappearance

Posted at 12:51 PM, Sep 18, 2014
and last updated 2014-09-18 17:37:20-04

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. -- Police are searching for a "person of interest" in connection with the disappearance of UVa. student Hannah Elizabeth Graham.

Police announced Thursday afternoon that they want to question a man spotted by eyewitnesses talking to Graham on the Downtown Mall around 1:15 a.m. on Sept. 13 -- the night 18-the year-old student vanished.

Police described the man as a black male in his late 20s to early 30s, about 5 feet 10 inches to 5 feet 11 inches tall and weighing between 250-285 pounds. The man was wearing black jeans and a white t-shirt and was described as having a closely shaved head as well as a goatee and a slight "beer belly."

If you have information that could help police, call 434-295-3851.

Watch CBS 6 News starting at 5 p.m. for the latest updates from Shelby Brown in Charlottesville. 

New Security Videos 

Two videos released Thursday morning showed missing University of Virginia student Hannah Graham as she walked along the Downtown Mall in Charlottesville early Saturday morning. The video also showed a man who appeared to be following Graham.

That man later showed up at the police department and told officers he saw another man put his arm around Graham in what appeared like an effort to help the teenager. Police now hope that second man comes forward with information about the student's disappearance.

The first security video was taken at 1:06 a.m. from a camera at Sal’s Pizza, located at 221 E. Main St. It showed a man walking into the camera's view. He looks over his shoulder and then steps into a doorway as Graham walked past, police said.

Once she walked past the man, he started to follow her, police said. The second video was taken at 1:08 a.m., from a camera at Tuel’s Jewelers located at 319 E. Main St. It showed Graham walking and the same man following behind her, Charlottesvile Police Capt. Gary Pleasants said. Again, that man has come forward and spoken to police.

As police and volunteers continue their search for Graham, a "Bring Hannah Home" candlelight vigil is scheduled to take police Thursday night at McIntire Amphitheater on the University of Virginia grounds.

"It is this moment that we must not—and will not—lose hope. And so tonight we come together as friends, family, students, faculty, neighbors, and citizens. We will join to demonstrate our ongoing support for Hannah’s search and loved ones. We will join to celebrate the great unyielding hope that Hannah will come back to us," University of Virginia student council president Jalen Ross said in a statement.

Reward Offered 

A $50,000 reward is now being offered in hopes of soliciting tips that could lead police to Graham.

The City of Charlottesville and the University of Virginia are each offering $10,000. In addition, some local residents and businesses have contributed $30,000 to the reward.

If you have information that could help investigators, call the special Hannah Graham tip line at 434-295-3851.

Depend on CBS 6 News and for the latest developments on this important story.