News

Actions

Property where human remains found in Hannah Graham search called ‘Teardrop Hill’

Posted at 8:20 PM, Oct 21, 2014

ALBEMARLE COUNTY, Va. - The results of an autopsy conducted on human remains found Saturday during the search for missing UVa. student Hannah Graham will soon be released.

The remains was discovered on an abandoned property off Old Lynchburg Road in Albemarle County.  Joe McDaniel said his family used to own the property.

"My grandfather actually built this house with his own hands," said McDaniel as he showed CBS 6 old pictures of the land.

McDaniel said the current owners maintain the grounds but added that no one has lived there consistently since his grandparents moved out years ago.

McDaniel said his grandmother called a portion of the property "Tear Drop Hill" after one of her sons was killed there during a wood chopping accident. The nickname is "very fitting" considering the current circumstances, McDaniel said.

"If that was my sister or my daughter, I don't know what I'd do," he added.

Police have not yet confirmed that the remains, taken to the Medical Examiner’s Office in downtown Richmond, are Graham.  After the remains were found, a search scheduled the next day, in the same area, was canceled. And the status of the case was changed to death investigation.

CBS 6 has learned the the prime suspect in Graham's disappearance, Jesse Matthew Jr., used to live only four  miles away from where the body was found. The abandoned property is also just over four miles away from where Morgan Harrington's remains were found.

Officers actively processed the area searching for physical evidence Sunday and Monday.

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.

Rebecca Simmons, a manager at the Shell gas station on Preston Avenue that captured security footage of 18-year-old Graham in the hours before she vanished, said she recognized Matthew as a regular customer.

The Shell's owner said a member of Matthew's family even worked at the store for a brief period of time a few years back.

"You don't know people's past; what they do, what they've done," said Simmons.

Anyone with information about Jesse Matthew, Hannah Graham or Morgan Harrington is asked to call the tipline at 434-295-3851. All Hannah Graham surveillance videos can be seen here. All reports filed on this case can be found here.