Man calls Hannah Graham tip line after sighting ’20-30 buzzards’

Posted at 1:13 AM, Oct 24, 2014
and last updated 2014-10-24 10:13:18-04

ALBEMARLE COUNTY, Va.  -- Landscaper Bobby Pugh was heading to a job site outside of Charlottesville on Sept. 30 when he saw something he said was startling.

"There was buzzards on the rooftop, as well as on a tree on the back left corner of the property," said Pugh. "Not a normal amount, 20 to 30 at least."

Pugh knew he needed to do something.

"About an hour later I was like, you know, I need to make a call," he said.

Like Pugh, thousands of people called in tips with any bit of information that could help law enforcement find missing UVa. student  Hannah Graham.

Graham was last seen on Sept. 13, on  Charlottesville's Downtown Mall, a pedestrian thoroughfare lined by shops and restaurants.

Jesse Matthew Jr. has been charged with her abduction, with intent to defile.

Nearly three weeks after Pugh's phone call volunteers from Chesterfield searching for Graham discovered human remains near an abandoned property off Old Lynchburg Road.

"I wish it could have happened faster, but it couldn't," said Pugh, "They were getting 200-300 tips a day, my tip couldn't be the one on the top."

As of late Thursday night, the Chief Medical Examiner is still working to positively identity the remains. However, Pugh said he is heartbroken by what may have happened to 18-year-old Hannah Graham.

"That's not the way anyone should be left," he said.

Jesse Matthew once lived 4 miles from where human remains were discovered

Just four short miles from the abandoned Albemarle County property, now lined with police tape and full of detectives investigating the discovery of human remains, sits the house Jesse Matthew Jr. and his mother once called home.

“She wanted to try to keep Jesse out of the city away from gang activity — if there was any in the city. She was just trying to make it safe for her son,” neighbor Cliff Hunt told CBS 6 reporter Laura French Sunday evening.

The empty property is also just over four miles away from where Morgan Harrington’s remains were found.

Forensic psychologist Mike Banks told CBS 6 reporter Jake Burns Sunday that the investigation is likely intensive and expansive at the property.

“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.

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.