Police search Charlottesville apartment for clues into disappearance of UVa. student Hannah Graham

Posted at 10:35 AM, Sep 19, 2014
and last updated 2014-09-19 14:50:59-04

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. -- Police executed a search warrant on a car and apartment that might be connected to the disappearance of University of Virginia student Hannah Graham.

Charlottesville Police Chief Tim Longo said officers seized a vehicle from outside the Hessian Hills apartment complex in Albemarle County Friday morning.

Officers are about to enter the apartment and spend several hours there, Longo said. No arrests have been made. He said that evidence in the car led police to execute a search warrant for the apartment.

Police said their investigation led them to the car, which then led them to the Hessian Hills apartment complex.

The apartments sit "just minutes away" from the Downtown Mall where Graham was last seen on security camera video early Saturday morning. Google maps indicated the apartment complex and Downtown Mall are approximately three miles apart.

There were persons present at the apartment when police arrived. When asked if those people are being questioned, Chief Longo only said "those people are not here," and that he didn't know where they were.

Police are calling this their most productive lead so far.

"The search warrant is to locate what we believe could be potential evidence that may be related to this investigation," Longo said. "We are in the process of beginning that search, that search could take several hours."

"I would hope that it is," Longo said when asked if he would call it a major break.

The execution of search warrants comes one day after Charlottesville Police announced investigators wanted to speak with a person of interest in this case.

Person of interest established, reward offered

Police said Thursday that they wanted 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.

Later Thursday evening, hundreds of Graham's classmates gathered at McIntire Amphitheater on the University of Virginia grounds for a “Bring Hannah Home” candlelight vigil.

On Thursday, police described the man as a black male in his late 20s to early 30s, about 5'10" to 5'11"  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.”

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.

Searches will continue throughout the weekend, with volunteer help requested.

All surveillance videos can be seen here.

All reports filed on this case can be found here.