Hannah Graham: Suspect in Case Indicted for Attempted Murder in 2005 Case

Fairfax Assault Shares a DNA Tie With Morgan Harrington Murder

As investigators wait to see if a body found Saturday is missing University of Virginia student Hannah Graham, the suspect in her disappearance is facing an attempted murder charge in another case.

Jesse L. Matthew, Jr. has already been charged with abduction with attempt to defile Graham, who disappeared more than a month ago.

On Monday, Matthew was indicted for attempted capital murder, abduction with attempt to defile, and sexual penetration with an object in a 2005 sexual assault in the city of Fairfax, Virginia. All three charges are felonies.

In that case, a 26-year-old woman was walking home from a grocery store in September 2005 when a man grabbed her and forced her into a wooded area, where he sexually assaulted her. He fled after being startled by another person.

During a news conference Monday afternoon, Fairfax authorities were unable to comment on specific evidence in the case.

"You know, I've learned the hard way over the past 30 years that this is just the first step, and the crimninal justice system can be a long, tough row to hoe, but I have confidence... that we will be able to go forward and bring justice in this instance," said Commonwealth's Attorney for Fairfax County Raymond F. Morrogh.

Morrogh said the victim in the 2005 case is grateful to the lead detective who stayed in touch with her over nine years, telling her he'd never give up.

"I think it's fair to say that she's grateful that the case will go forward to whatever resolution comes to it," he said.

He said Matthew will likely be brought to Northern Virginia to face the charges, but no court date has been set yet. On Thursday, Fairfax authorities will ask the court for a bench warrant to bring Matthew to Northern Virginia.

"It's possible to transport a defendant to and from various courthouses, and that's what we'll do," Morrogh said.

Morrogh declined to comment on Matthew's connection to other unsolved cases.

City of Fairfax Police Chief Carl R. Pardiny said Fairfax authorities are continuing to work with authorities in Charlottesille, Albermarle County and Virginia State Police.

Authorities had previously said DNA evidence links the 2005 Fairfax assault to the murder of Virginia Tech student Morgan Harrington in 2009.

Harrington disappeared after attending a concert at the University of Virginia campus in Charlottesville. Her body was found a little more than five miles from where the body was found during Saturday's search for Graham. Harrington had been missing for 101 days.

No one has been charged in Harrington's murder. But Harrington's parents have been active in searching for Graham, noting the similarities between the two cases.

"I thought [Graham's disappearance] seemed very similar to Morgan's situation with sort of the question of her maybe being somewhat impaired, someone just picking her up and trying to take care of her," Dan Harrington said earlier this month.

"But it really came to light to me about two weeks ago when I saw a picture of the sketch as compared to Jesse," he said. "I thought, 'Oh my God, I think it's the same person'."

Virginia State Police said late last month that they believe they have found a link between Harrington's death and Graham's disappearance.

The news of the new charges against Matthew is another stunning development connected to Graham's month-long disappearance.

Volunteer searchers looking for Graham found human remains Saturday; Virginia's medical examiner is working to identify the body now.

Sunday, investigators interviewed residents in the area where the body was found, and forensic teams combed the sides of a road for several miles past the site.

It was not immediately known what they were looking for.

Volunteer searchers discovered the unidentified body at about noon Saturday in an "abandoned property" along Old Lynchburg Road in the Walnut Creek Park area of Albemarle County, authorities said at a Saturday evening news conference.

Charlottesville Police Chief Tim Longo said Graham's parents had been notified of the discovery. He said volunteers working with Chesterfield County sheriff's deputies were searching the property on Old Lynchburg Road when they discovered the remains.

RAW VIDEO: Police said in a press conference Saturday that they had found a body during the search for missing UVa. student Hannah Graham. The body has not yet been identified.

Albemarle County Police Chief Steve Sellers said, "This, sadly, is now a death investigation. We will not jump to any conclusions after today’s discovery."

In September, police charged Matthew in Graham's disappearance. His attorney, Jim Camblos, issued a statement late Saturday night, saying "I understand the search teams found remains on an abandoned farm in Albemarle County. We are waiting to see the results of the medical examiners autopsy. No further comment."

Albemarle County Police now are asking anyone who saw suspicious activity or suspicious vehicles near Old Lynchburg Road to contact them at 434-296-5807. Neighbors in the area said they had been smelling a foul odor a few days ago.

[[ 279062921, C]]

Emergency management officials, meanwhile, canceled Sunday's planned search for Graham. Hundreds of volunteers have joined Charlottesville, Albemarle County and state authorities for a series of searches since Graham disappeared.

Graham was reported missing after a night out with with friends Sept. 12. She was last seen on surveillance video in Charlottesville’s downtown mall in the early morning hours of Sept. 13.

The surveillance video shows a man police identified as Matthew wrapping his arm around Graham. He is also accused of buying the 18-year-old woman alcohol.

Jesse Matthew, the man accused of abducting Hannah Graham, was investigated in a campus sex assault in 2003.

Two weeks after Graham's disappearance, Matthew -- a hospital worker and former taxi driver -- was arrested in Texas. He has been extradited to Virginia, where he is in custody.

Matthew is not due for a court appearance in the case until December. Investigators believe Matthew acted alone and did not know Graham before her disappearance.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

Contact Us