UPDATED: Search Continues Along Rt. 20 for Hannah Graham
Oct. 1, 2014 UPDATED: 5:54 PM
Wednesday’s search is being described as the largest search with law enforcement in the Hannah Graham investigation.
“The search isn't over until we find Hannah Graham,” says Charlottesville Police Chief Tim Longo.
Search teams have been out for nearly twenty days looking for the missing University of Virginia 2nd-year student. Now they are once again expanding their search in Albemarle County.
“We're going to search every patch of this county,” says Chief Longo. “Every single patch of this county we are going to search and if we have to bring people in from all over the Commonwealth of Virginia we are going to do that.”
Over 50 police officers from the City of Charlottesville, Albemarle, Stafford and Fairfax counties as well as Virginia State Police were involved with today’s search. That also includes three K-9 teams.
“We are working more towards Scottsville, off of Scottsville Road as well as pushing north up off of Stony Point,” says Mark Eggeman, search and rescue coordinator for the Virginia Department of Emergency Management. “Just looking at every exit that leads Charlottesville and following that out.”
So far they have covered over 170 square miles of the county. This is all thanks to over 3,000 tips that have come in throughout the past few weeks.
Colonel Steve Sellers from the Albemarle County Police Department says they sift through hundreds of tips each day.
“They range from I smell a strange odor in this part of the property,” says Col. Sellers. “We get buzzard tips every day, so the tips are wide and the variety is great.”
Police will continue to rotate people in and out of the search so that crews don't get burned out, but as search teams change, the goal is still the same, to bring Hannah back home to her family.
The search continues for missing 18-year-old Hannah Elizabeth Graham. Crews are spread across Central Virginia, looking for clues about Graham's disappearance.
Law enforcement officials help an impromptu press conference Wednesday morning, bringing everyone up to speed as much as possible in the search efforts for Hannah.
Search crews are focusing on the Route 20 corridor in Albemarle County. They've got K-9 units, law enforcement from other areas and the State Police helicopter is on stand-by.
On Tuesday, search teams were using ATVs to look on farms and wooded areas in parts of Albemarle Co., including the Key West neighborhood off of Route 20.
So far there's no word on anything being found.
Law enforcement is working with 3,000 tips that have been reported in this case, and crews are trying to conduct the search with these in mind.
“We're doing the best effort that we can to search every square inch,” said Albemarle Co. Police Chief Steve Sellers. “We're doing this methodically and with information, and so as we search we're using information that's coming from a variety of sources.”
Meanwhile, the recent DNA link between 32-year-old Jesse Leroy “LJ” Matthew Jr., Hannah Graham and 20-year-old Morgan Harrington has Campbell County investigators looking into the 2009 murder of Cassandra Morton.
Morton was last seen alive one week before Harrington disappeared outside the John Paul Jones Arena in Charlottesville.
It's important to note Matthew has not been linked or charged in the Morton case.
Matthew is scheduled to appear in court Thursday, Oct. 2, for his two reckless driving charges in Albemarle Co. He is also scheduled to appear in Charlottesville General District Court for his abduction with intent to defile charge.
Copyright © 2014 Gray MidAmerica TV Interactive Media, LLC.