Charlottesville reacts to news of Jesse Matthew's capture - NBC12 - WWBT - Richmond, VA News On Your Side

Charlottesville reacts to news of Jesse Matthew's capture


People all over Charlottesville are reacting to the news that quickly spread moments after the police chief confirmed Matthew's arrest Wednesday night. There was an audible gasp in the room among reporters when he confirmed Jesse Matthew is in custody.

"What's the sense of the town tonight? I think everyone is relieved and they're hoping that we get answers," says Sandra Snow, who works downtown.

She says the community wants answers that can't come soon enough since UVA sophomore Hannah Graham is still nowhere to be seen.

 "It's almost an epidemic at this point," said Brooks Baumgardner at the Market Street Market.

Employees there say many female students have come in concerned about their safety. But now, Matthew, 32, is in police custody, arrested less than 24 hours after being charged with abduction with the intent to defile in connection with Graham's disappearance.

"I think innocent people don't run, scared or not. I'm surprised he got as far as he did with his face out there nationwide," Snow said.

"The fact that he went all the way to Galveston, Texas is pretty compelling to me and to me signals that he was trying to escape," said John Max.

Though Charlottesville Police Chief Timothy Longo said authorities don't know why Matthew went to Texas, people in Charlottesville are glad to see investigators being so vocal about every step of the investigation.

"With this case, they update you at 12. Then they update you at 7. I just feel they try to update the public more. It's great. I just hope they got the right guy honestly," Baumgardner said.

Matthew played semi pro-football in Charlottesville. One of his former coaches only spoke to NBC12, pleading for Matthew to turn himself in whether he's innocent or guilty. After learning of the suspect's arrest, the former coach said if Matthew is involved, he hopes he can shed light into where Hannah is and that he's praying for all of the families involved. 

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