September 21, 2014 / 1:31 AM / 4 years ago

Person of interest named in hunt for missing Virginia student

(Reuters) - Police looking for a missing University of Virginia student identified a 32-year-old man, Jesse Leroy Matthew Jr, as a person of interest in the case on Saturday, a day after searching his car and apartment.

Matthew was named as a person of interest in the case of 18-year-old Hannah Graham, who disappeared on Sept. 13, but authorities said Matthew has not been charged and was not in custody.

Charlottesville Police Chief Tim Longo on Friday said that Matthew was at home when the search warrant was executed, but officers had no reason to take him into custody.

Graham and Matthew were seen entering a bar in downtown Charlottesville at about 1 a.m. last Saturday. They had drinks before leaving together after 15 minutes, Longo said, driving away in Matthew’s orange Chrysler coupe.

Police searched Matthew’s apartment on Friday after finding his car parked outside and searching the vehicle.

The disappearance of Graham, a sophomore from Alexandria, Virginia, has gripped Charlottesville, a college town of about 45,000 about 100 miles (160 km) southwest of Washington.

A surveillance video showed Graham on the city’s downtown pedestrian mall. She sent a text message to friends shortly afterward saying she was lost.

Reporting by Jonathan Kaminsky; Additional reporting by John Clarke; Editing by Leslie Adler

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