1 Year Later: Group Marks Anniversary of Hannah Graham's Disappearance | NBC4 Washington

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1 Year Later: Group Marks Anniversary of Hannah Graham's Disappearance

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    1 Year Later: Group Marks Anniversary of Hannah Graham's Disappearance
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    On the night of Sept. 12, Graham, 18, met friends for dinner at a restaurant and then attended two off-campus parties. Officials said she left the second party alone, later texting a friend that she was lost.

    It's been one year since University of Virginia student Hannah Graham disappeared, and to mark the tragic milestone, one group is bringing refreshed attention to her life. 

    Sunday night, volunteers from the organization "Help Save the Next Girl" gathered about a block away from where Graham was last seen to set up balloons and pamphlets.

    "We just want to be here to say, you know, we remember. We will not forget. We will not let other people forget," Help Save the Next Girl's Trina Murphy told WVIR.

    On the night of Sept. 12, Graham, 18, met friends for dinner at a restaurant and then attended two off-campus parties. Officials said she left the second party alone, later texting a friend that she was lost.

    Surveillance videos showed her walking unsteadily, and sometimes running, past a pub and a gas station and then onto Charlottesville's downtown mall very early Sept. 13. She was also shown with a man whom police say is Jesse Matthew Jr. In the video, the man is shown wrapping his arm around Graham.

    Graham's remains were found in a rural area five weeks later.

    Matthew is charged with capital murder in connection with her disappearance and death. His trial is set for next summer.

    Earlier this summer, Matthew entered an Alford plea in a separate sexual assault case in Fairfax, Virginia. Testimony linked him to DNA found under the fingernail of a 26-year-old woman who was sexually assaulted in Fairfax in fall 2005.

    Since Graham's death, Help Save the Next Girl has continued its quest to prevent women from becoming victims of predators. 

    "We're working diligently to make young people aware of personal safety and be aware of their own surroundings," said Gil Harrington, mother of Morgan Harrington, who disappeared in 2009 and whose death is also linked to the Fairfax case.

    Harrington, who attended Virginia Tech, vanished in October 2009 after attending a concert at the University of Virginia. Her remains were found early the following year.

    Matthew has not been charged in Harrington's death.

    Help Save the Next Girl was established in Morgan's honor and now has 35 chapters, according to WVIR.