A woman alerted authorities to Jesse Matthew camped on Texas beach

Posted at 10:01 AM, Sep 25, 2014
and last updated 2014-09-25 19:24:09-04

GALVESTON COUNTY, Tex. -- The main suspect in the disappearance of 18-year-old University of Virginia student Hannah Graham made his first appearance in court Thursday morning, a day after being arrested in Texas.

Jesse Matthew, 32, declined to request a court-appointed attorney to fight his extradition.  Thursday afternoon during another hearing, Matthew said yes when he was asked by a judge if he wanted to waive extradition.

Matthew is being held without bond until Charlottesville police arrive, which is expected to happen within the next two days.

The investigators for this case arrived Thursday afternoon, and the Virginia team is a state officer, county sheriff, and local law enforcement officer. They will not be the officers taking Matthew to Virginia, said Galveston County Sheriff Henry Trochesset.

The car Matthew was driving was towed away from the camp spot where police arrested him, and the trunk was not opened until Charlottesville investigators arrived.

“They are starting to look at the vehicle," said Trochesset. He added that "right now, Hannah is not to be located."

The sheriff explained that police in Texas were alerted to a suspicious man camping on the beach in Gilchrist on the Bolivar Peninsula, approximately 1,300 miles from Charlottesville. When they ran his license plate number around 3:30 p.m., they found out he was wanted in Virginia. He was charged with giving false information to a police officer.

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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Deputy Ross Perez, who made the arrest of Matthew, declined to answer all but two questions at the press conference.

“I responded to a call that there was a suspicious person in the area,” Perez said.

A reporter asked what type of exchange they had as Perez came upon Matthew.

“Because of the nature of this investigation, I am going to decline to answer your questions at this time," Perez said. “Please forgive me for now, this investigation is going to be somewhat lengthy as it goes on.“

“If you don’t mind, respect his wishes,” said the sheriff, and added that Perez was a seasoned officer.

The sheriff said the car and a tent were removed from the campsite, and that he doesn't believe Matthew had been there more than a day or two.

The tipster who called the sheriff's office directly to report Matthew was a woman.

“Not sure if she recognized him or the fact of what was going on surrounding him made her feel compelled to contact us," the sheriff said, though he did not explain.

Jesse Matthew car being towed from Gilcrest. PHOTO: KPRC via CNN

Jesse Matthew car being towed from Gilcrest. PHOTO: KPRC via CNN

Matthew held separately for time being

Matthew is in“administrative segregation,” meaning they are watching his behavior, and making sure he is safe and secure.

At his court appearance Matthew asked the judge about the clothing he was provided with.

"Hey sir, I have a question for you," Matthew said during the proceeding. "Um. They took all our clothes and they got me sleeping on a large (inaudible) Should be in, I should be in some kind of clothes?"

"You appear to me to be dressed in a jump suit,'" the judge replies.

"Well, once I get back there I'm gonna take my jumpsuit off and tell me I can take my jumpsuit," Matthew said.

"Medical, medical has to clear you out of medical, that's a requirement of medical," the judge said. "So once medical sees you and clears you, and they move you to another cell, you can get the jumpsuit back."

Hannah's disappearance still boggles community

Authorities are now offering a $100,000 reward for information leading to the safe return of Graham, 18, a second-year student at the University of Virginia.

The Northern Virginia native is 5 feet 11 inches tall with a slender build and has light brown hair, blue eyes and freckles. She was last seen September 13 wearing a black crop top and capri pants. She had an iPhone in a pink case.

“This bright, athletic, friendly college student who has been part of our community for two years, is still missing," said Longo.

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.

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? 

Police 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.


READ NOW: Hannah Graham’s parents say she left her ‘guardian angel’ at home before returning to UVa.

What's next? 

They have received 1,500 tips so far in the case. 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. Longo said the Virginia Department of Emergency Management, and search and rescue have covered most of city, and Carter’s Mountain.

Longo also asked property owners to check their land for anything suspicion. He asked owners that have checked their land to call the Hannah Graham tip line at 434-295-3851 or email to let investigators cross those properties off the list.

“If you have seen tire tracks…that seem suspect, again, contact us,” Longo said. “We will make the assessment of what is relevant.”

The chief also asked for the help of Charlottesville-area realtors.

“If you are a realtor who serves the greater Charlottesville area, we are asking you to go to vacant properties to follow the same directives that we have asked property owners.”

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 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.