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‘You never know what you’re going to find,’ says forensic psychologist as Albemarle investigators hunt for clues

Posted at 10:17 PM, Oct 19, 2014
and last updated 2014-10-19 23:11:38-04

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. -- As the leaves shifted from green to vibrant hues of gold and red over the past month in Charlottesville, the message on the BETA wall at the University of Virginia has remained constant: Bring Hannah Home.

Saturday's news that the search for 18-year-old Hannah Graham was called off after human remains were found in a rural part of Albemarle County comes as odd relief for some on campus.

Evan Ayers, who just graduated from UVa., said he was not surprised by the news, just left saddened.

"Before it was just wondering what if, and you knew that something worse could always be on the horizon," said Cherise Pack, a third year student at the university.

The remains that were discovered were taken to the Medical Examiner's Office in downtown Richmond where test will be conducted to positively ID the body.

The discovery was made off Old Lynchburg Road in Albemarle County, which is about 11 miles from the Downtown Mall, Charlottesville’s outdoor pedestrian mall where Graham was last seen.

Officers actively processed the area searching for physical evidence Sunday.

Forensic psychologist Mike Banks said their investigation is likely intensive and expansive.

"I've seen crime scene investigators crawling inch by inch with a magnifying glass," Banks said. "You never know what you're going to find in the bushes, you never know what you're going to find near the body, under the body, on the body."

Banks said that dental records could identify the remains, but that investigators want to be sure of their findings.

Banks also said that he cannot help but think of Hannah’s parents, John and Susan Graham, after the remains were discovered Saturday.

"If it is Hannah Graham, 100 percent, then at least they have their child home,” he said.