Connecting the dots with Jesse Matthew

VIRGINIA (WAVY) — 10 On Your Side takes a look at the next steps in the Hannah Graham investigation and the prosecution against suspect Jesse Matthew.

As of Tuesday, investigators have not said if the remains sent to the medical examiner are those of UVa. student Hannah Graham. On Monday, the man accused of abducting her, Jesse Matthew, was indicted on three new charges related to a 2005 rape in Fairfax City.

10 On Your Side spoke with someone familiar with medical examinations, who said dental records and clothing should help in the identification of the remains.

Matthew is now linked to three crimes:

  • Virginia State Police have said DNA evidence connects Matthew to the 2009 Morgan Harrington case. Harrington, a college student, was found murdered.
  • The FBI has said DNA evidence shows Morgan Harrington’s killer is connected to the 2005 Fairfax rape, of which Matthew has been charged.
  • Matthew is also charged with the abduction of UVa. student Hannah Graham. The 18-year-old disappeared on Sept. 13.

Three crimes, and the common link appears to be Jesse Matthew.

“Any other cases of missing women in this area, the pieces of the puzzle that no one had the answer to, appear to be coming together,” said former FBI profiler and NBC News Analyst Clint Van Zandt.

WAVY.com learned Monday that Jesse Matthew will be returned to Fairfax on a bench warrant sometime after Thursday. Police say he abducted and sexually assaulted a 26-year-old woman, who was walking home from a grocery store in Fairfax back in September 2005.

She survived and helped detectives come up with a suspect composite that the FBI used along with DNA evidence to link that case to the 2009 disappearance of Virginia Tech student Morgan Harrington. Matthew has not been charged in Harrington’s murder.

Hannah Graham vanished more than five weeks ago, after police say she was seen with Matthew on surveillance video. Investigators are still searching for evidence where human remains were found Saturday.

“I wouldn’t have ever suspected him to do anything like that. I mean, he was well-spoken and nice and helpful and sweet,” said Lauren Johnson, a former co-worker of Matthew.

“After he warmed up, you would always see him smiling at things,” said Demtrice Walker, a former friend of Matthew.

An attorney who spoke to WAVY News 10 said the easiest case to prosecute Matthew will be the first case that goes to trial. That case could be the Fairfax rape case, which has a witness-victim, who is cooperating with the investigation and prosecution.

Stay with WAVY on air and online for the latest developments.

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