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UVa Suspect Tied to Murdered Student

Police reveal 'forensic link' between Jesse Matthew, Morgan Harrington
By Kate Seamons,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 29, 2014 2:15 PM CDT
UVa Suspect Tied to Murdered Student
This undated photo provided by the City of Charlottesville, Va. on Friday, Sept. 26, 2014 shows Jesse Leroy Matthew Jr.   (AP Photo/City of Charlottesville)

(Newser) – Hannah Graham isn't the first young woman to disappear in the Charlottesville area in recent years, and state police today announced that the man suspected in Graham's abduction has been forensically tied to another woman who went missing. Morgan Harrington vanished in October 2009 after attending a Metallica concert at the city's John Paul Jones Arena; the 20-year-old Virginia Tech student's remains were found in a field three months later. A rep for state police said that last week's arrest of Jesse Matthew "provided a significant break in this case with a new forensic link for state police investigators to pursue." She did not elaborate.

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Sources tell CBS6 the new evidence shows that Harrington had some form of contact with Matthew on the night of the concert. The Daily Progress reports that Harrington's case had previously been connected via forensic evidence to a Sept. 24, 2005, sexual assault in Fairfax. In that instance, a 26-year-old woman who was returning home from the grocery store by herself was grabbed from behind, dragged away, and attacked; the man then fled. The FBI released a sketch of that suspect in 2012. (Read more Morgan Harrington stories.)

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