US & Canada

Hannah Graham: Police issue arrest warrant

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Media captionHannah's father John Graham: "Every parent's worst nightmare"

Police searching for a missing British-born student in Virginia have issued an arrest warrant for a man they believe is the last person to see her.

Hannah Graham, 18, disappeared in the early morning of 13 September in the university town of Charlottesville.

Jesse Matthew, 32, was seen walking with the student on CCTV footage the night she disappeared.

Meanwhile, Hannah's father has made an emotional appeal for help saying "somebody knows what happened".

On Saturday, police issued a warrant for Mr Matthew on charges of reckless driving after he visited the Charlottesville Police Department station accompanied by several family members.

Image copyright AP
Image caption Hannah Graham, 18, went missing after a night out

Mr Matthew, who is a nursing assistant, initially asked for a lawyer, but then drove away at high speed without speaking to police.

He has not been charged in the connection of the disappearance of Hannah, who he was seen walking next to on CCTV footage the night she disappeared.

Police say they also have evidence that a man matching Mr Matthew's description entered a bar with Hannah and purchased alcohol during the night.

"I believe Jesse Matthew was the last person she was seen with before she vanished off the face of the earth," Charlottesville Police Chief Timothy Longo said at a news conference.

British-born Hannah went missing after attending a party in Charlottesville on that Friday night.

The second-year University of Virginia student, who appeared to be drunk, was then caught on CCTV cameras in several different locations throughout the town.

She was seen walking, and at some points running, past a pub and a service station.

Image copyright Reuters
Image caption CCTV footage captured Hannah and Matthew walking together the night the student went missing

In the last few sightings, Hannah is seen walking through the main shopping street in Charlottesville. In two separate pieces of footage, Mr Matthew is seen walking beside Hannah.

At 01:20 Hannah sent a text message to a friend saying she was lost.

There were no subsequent sightings of the teenager.

On Sunday her British parents, who moved from the UK to Washington DC when Hannah was five, made an appeal for help in the search for her daughter.

"All we want to do now is to bring Hannah home safely and I appeal to anybody who knows anything please, please help us," said her father John Graham.

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Media captionThere was ''a sombre feeling around the grounds'' say students

"This is every parent's worst nightmare," he said. "We need to find out what happened to Hannah and make sure it happens to no one else."

On Saturday, around 1,000 people including students from Hannah's university joined in a police search of the town.

At least three other young women have disappeared in the area in the last five years, though police have said they do not think Hannah's disappearance is linked to that of any of the other missing women.

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