Hannah Graham's parents: Students be 'extra vigilant' this weekend

CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA (WWBT) - The parents of a missing University of Virginia student have a new message to students: be extra vigilant this weekend.

John and Sue Graham posted a note to the UVA community on the university's website Friday thanking students for a candlelight vigil for their daughter, Hannah, the night before.

"We found the vigil to be extremely moving and would like to offer our sincere thanks to the students for arranging the event and to the University for enabling our attendance," the statement reads. "We were comforted by the evident high esteem in which our cherished daughter is held by her many friends at the University of Virginia and beyond. "

The parents say they remain optimistic their daughter will be returned safely and urged anyone with information on the case to call Charlottesville Police at (434) 295-3851. They also reminded students heading out this weekend to stay safe.

"Lastly, it is now Friday, a week since Hannah's disappearance. For those students planning to unwind this weekend, please be extra vigilant when you are out and walk with a buddy," the statement concludes.

The statement comes as Charlottesville police search an apartment in connection with the disappearance of University of Virginia student Hannah Graham. The investigation led police to a car, which then led them to the Hessian Hills apartments. Police obtained search warrants for both the car and the apartment and have taken the car to process for evidence collection. However they have not located the missing 18-year-old.

Click here for full #BringHannahHome coverage: nbc12.com/hannah

Three people were in the apartment when police arrived overnight. One matched the description police released Thursday as a person of interest in the case. So far, there have been no arrests.

The description of the person of interest came from a witness, who told police he saw a man with Graham on East Main Street on the Downtown Mall in Charlottesville around 1 a.m. to 1:15 a.m. Saturday. He described the person as a black male, 5'10" to 5'11", 250-285 pounds, with a close shaved head, goatee and slight 'beer belly.' He is reportedly in his late 20s to early 30s and was wearing black jeans and white t-shirt.

Police ask anyone with information on him or who saw him to call the tip line at (434) 295-3851.

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