Jesse Matthew, UVa. student Hannah Graham abduction suspect, arrested in Texas

Posted at 7:14 PM, Sep 24, 2014
and last updated 2014-09-25 10:16:49-04

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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. — The main suspect in the disappearance of 18-year-old Hannah Graham is now in custody, but the location of the University of Virginia student is still unknown.

Charlottesville Police Chief Timothy Longo said that Matthew was arrested in Galveston, Texas, and awaits extradition. He said that there will be more information to release when Matthew is brought back to Virginia. Investigators will head to Galveston Thursday.  [READ MORE:  Video shows Jesse Matthew, Hannah Graham abduction suspect, questions judge, waive extradition in Texas courtroom]

Jesse Matthew taken into custody in Galveston.

Jesse Matthew taken into custody in Galveston.

It appears from footage of Matthew being processed at the the Galveston Jail that he did not shave his dreads as he embarked on the approximately 1,300 mile journey; on the run since Saturday, Sept. 20.

Police said they located Matthew on the beach in Gilcrest, on the Bolivar Pennisula,  around 3:30 p.m. Wednesday. A Houston CNN affiliate reported that authorities ran the license plate of the vehicle Matthew was traveling in, after receiving a call that a suspicious man was camping on the beach.

A federal law enforcement source confirmed a phone call made from a borrowed cell phone in Louisiana, to Virginia, is how police first discovered Jesse Matthew was out of the state and on the run.

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Deputies with the Galveston Sheriff County Office were credited with the arrest.

“We would like to thank them for their very effective police work today,” said Adam Lee, special agent in charge, Richmond Field Operations.

“We have a person in custody, but there is a long road ahead of us,” Longo said.

The press conference was brief, but Chief Longo did promise more big announcements ahead. He also pleaded for information to help bring Hannah home.

“Every person within the sound of my voice, help us find Hannah,” Longo said. He said the reward is now $100,000.

For over 10 days police have been aggressively coordinating search efforts and collecting information surrounding the  disappearance  of the second-year University of Virginia student.

Witness accounts and surveillance video led police to obtain a search warrant for Matthew's car, and then his home. Then two days later police returned to his home in Hessian Hills, searching for clothes and took more evidence.

As some evidence came back from forensics testing, police issued an arrest warrant for Matthew, for abduction with intent to defile.

Hannah's disappearance still boggles community

New missing person poster released reflects increased reward.

New missing person poster released reflects increased reward.

On the evening of September 12, she was seen at a party before friends saw her at an apartment complex a couple of blocks away from the party. That was shortly before midnight.

About 12:45 a.m. on September 13, a surveillance camera caught Graham outside of a pub, about three-quarters of a mile from the apartment complex. A doorman turned her away at the pub, Longo said Sunday.

Ten minutes later, she is seen running past a gas station — no one appears to be pursuing her — and witnesses say they saw her five minutes later roughly four blocks from the gas station.

The surveillance camera at an Italian cafe captured her walking along the pedestrian outdoor mall in downtown Charlottesville, about 1:06 a.m. The camera at a jewelry store recorded her passing two minutes later, with Matthew walking beside her, police said.

At 1:20 a.m. she texted her friends to say she was lost and trying to find a party. She was seen with a man said to be Matthew, having drinks at a bar between 1:30 and 2 a.m..

Police believe she may have been under the influence of alcohol, Longo said, and may have been vulnerable or unable to defend herself.

On how many warrants was Matthew a wanted man? 

Wanted Poster no ssPolice officially released Matthew's name on Sunday, Sept. 21, saying they believe he was having drinks with Graham.

“I believe Jesse Matthew was the last person she was seen with before she vanished off the face of the Earth,” the police chief said Sunday. “We want to talk to him.”

Graham and Matthew were seen leaving the bar together, and Matthew drove away in his Chrysler coupe that was parked near the bar, and police said they have “every reason to believe” Graham was in the car, too.

Matthew came into police headquarters on Saturday, Sept. 20, and asked to speak with a lawyer.

He hired James Camblos, the attorney said. But then Matthew left without speaking to police, or his lawyer. Police who were overtly following Matthew said he took off at such high speeds they could not safely pursue. At that point police issued two misdemeanor warrants for speeding.

Shortly thereafter he was named a person of interest. Then two days later, as forensic evidence came back to police, a felony arrest warrant was issued. Matthew was charged for abduction with intent to defile.

What's next? 

Hannah Graham's location is still unknown, and she's been missing eleven days.

Police have interviewed 60 people and received more than 100 tips in the case, police said. Last weekend, more than 1,200 volunteers and Virginia Department of Emergency Management officials spent the weekend searching for clues that would lead them to Graham.

As time passes, the search area grows, investigators say. As word spread that Matthew had been arrested, neighbors said they hoped police could now just focus on finding Hannah, and hopefully safe.

The city of Charlottesville, the University of Virginia and the local community have contributed $100,000 to a reward for “information leading to the cause” of Graham’s disappearance. Anyone with info is asked to call the tipline

Police are encouraging residents to check their properties. And still, police hope anyone with information will come forward.

Anyone who saw Matthew’s burnt-orange 1998 Chrysler coupe on Saturday, Sept. 13,  should call the police tip line  at 434-295-3851.

All surveillance videos can be seen here. All reports filed on this case can be found here.

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