Randolph-Macon students hold vigil for missing UVa. student Hannah Graham

Posted at 11:33 PM, Sep 30, 2014
and last updated 2014-10-01 00:21:14-04

ASHLAND, Va. - The disappearance of University of Virginia student Hannah Graham has not only touched the people in Central Virginia but around the country.

To show their support for Hannah Graham and her family, hundreds attended a candlelight vigil Tuesday night at Randolph-Macon College in Ashland.

"It's definitely hit home especially for college students because it's so real to us," said RMC student, Tim Eicher.

The night was also about raising awareness for women's safety on campus and around the area.

"It really has made us think there are dangerous people and dangerous situations out there, but we always think to ourselves so I'll be fine," said RMC student, Delaney Sheire.

Graham has been missing since Sept. 13 and Charlottesville Police have charged Jesse Matthew with abduction with intent to defile.

Still, those at Randolph-Macon have a message in the search to bring Hannah home.

"Keep strong, keep the faith strong, The Lord has a plan for everything," Eicher said.

Additionally, students at the University of Virginia are organizing a massive "group hug" that will take place Friday at 3 p.m. on the lawn.


Randolph-Macon students hold candlelight vigil for missing UVa,. student Hannah Graham

Where is Hannah Graham?

It was late on a Friday night and a freckled, blue-eyed University of Virginia student named Hannah Graham was partying in downtown Charlottesville, Virginia.

Graham, described as an accomplished athlete and straight-A student, was seen various times before her disappearance in the early hours of September 13.

She was at a party and later at an apartment complex, just blocks away. A surveillance camera caught her outside a pub, where she was turned away.

She was next seen running past a gas station, and witness accounts have her walking onto the Downtown Mall, a pedestrian thoroughfare lined with restaurants and shops. There were a few people out walking around, and surveillance cameras help capture the track Graham took.

A surveillance camera at an Italian cafe captured her walking eastbound along the mall about 1:06 a.m. A camera at a jewelry store recorded her passing two minutes later.

That camera footage appears to show her walking with Matthew, and a witness collaborated that he say Graham approached by a man who put his arm around her.

Matthew was originally spotted on the camera at the Italian café, headed the opposite direction as Graham. The video shows him cross over and fall into step behind Graham, heading eastbound.

Police said that at 1:20 a.m., she texted her friends to say she was lost and trying to find a party.

However, she told her friends, according to police, that she was lost at a location near her apartment – which was 1.5 miles from where she was spotted on camera ten minutes before the text.

She and a man were seen having drinks at a bar between 1:30 and 2 a.m. was what police have said.

The owner of the restaurant released a statement that Matthew had been inside the bar, but Graham had not.

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


John Graham speaks as his wife, Sue, clutches their daughter’s favorite white rabbit and good luck charm.

Hannah left behind 'guardian angel'

Hannah Graham’s parents  spoke lovingly of their 18-year-old daughter, who they described as someone who loved helping people.

“Last Spring Break, instead of hanging around on the beach, she spent a week in Tuscaloosa rebuilding houses,” her father said.

John Graham then pulled out a small, stuffed animal. Hannah’s favorite stuffed animal, BB, was given to the girl when she was less than a week old. But the pair became separated when he dropped his daughter off at UVa. for the start of the semester.

“When I returned home, Hannah had left this little guy behind,” he said. “She was her guardian angel until she returned to school last month.”

Hannah had once lost BB as a child, but the animal was safely returned to her.

John and Sue Graham begged anyone who had information into the whereabouts of Hannah Graham daughter, a second-year University of Virginia student, to come forward.

“This is every parent’s worst nightmare,” John Graham said. “We need to find out what happened to Hannah to make sure it doesn’t happen to anyone else.”

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.