Medical Examiner: Human remains belong to Hannah Graham - NBC12 - WWBT - Richmond, VA News On Your Side

Medical Examiner: Human remains belong to Hannah Graham

CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA (WWBT) - The Chief Medical Examiner's office confirmed Friday remains discovered in Albemarle County last week belong to University of Virginia student Hannah Graham.

Police reopened Old Lynchburg Road earlier in the day, as Hannah's parents visited the property where Chesterfield deputies found the skeletal remains Oct. 18.

A memorial in Hannah's honor will be set up around UVA's Whispering Wall by Sunday, with a chair made of skis serving as the centerpiece. The second year student was an integral member of the University's ski team.

"People have had a huge range of emotions here," said Second Year Class President Abraham Axler. "But I would say the two prevailing feelings, we've gone from hope to solemnness. And that second feeling remains frustration."

The memorial will be surrounded by flowers and eight-foot-tall chalk boards. Students will then be able to write messages of hope on the boards for the Graham Family.

Albemarle County Commonwealth's Attorney Denise Lunsford signaled new charges will likely be filed against Graham's suspected abductor, Jesse Matthew. By early Saturday, authorities had not filed additional charges.

But in an interview Friday, NBC12 Legal Analyst Steve Benjamin said there is no need to charge new offenses now.

"Matthew is being held without bond, and is therefore not a public safety risk," Benjamin said. "Authorities could wait and prosecute the strong Fairfax rape case first that Matthew is now involved in. And if convicted, a subsequent prosecution would be of a convicted rapist."

Lunsford said her office is now working to determine the best course of action, in order to ensure justice for the Graham Family.

"The focus of the investigation now is to determine what charges will be brought and the appropriate time to make those charges," Lunsford said. "We are working diligently with local law enforcement on the investigation to ensure that we make the best determination for our community and the Grahams in the pursuit of justice."

A vigil for the 18-year-old is set to unfold 4 p.m. Sunday, at the Charlottesville nTelos Wireless Pavilion.

Hannah's parents thanked Charlottesville Police Chief Timothy Longo Sr. in a written statement, and expressed their gratitude to the multitude of people who aided the unprecedented search effort.

"When we started this journey together we all hoped for a happier ending," the Grahams wrote. "Sadly that was not to be, but due to the tenacity and determination of Chief Longo, Hannah is coming home to us and we will be eternally grateful to him for this."

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