(CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va.) — Missing University of Virginia student Hannah Graham went to a bar with an older man and may have gotten into a car with him, and police said Friday they want to ask that man “what he knows about Hannah.”
Charlottesville Police Chief Timothy Longo did not publicly identify the man, but said that he is 32, has dreadlocks, is 6-foot-2 and weighs 270 pounds. Police spoke to him Friday morning when they executed a search warrant and seized his car, but did not feel that they had enough probable cause to arrest him, Longo said.
“We know that he purchased alcohol (in the restaurant) and we know that Hannah Graham was with him. We also know that within 15 minutes he was gone from that bar and Hannah Graham was with him,” Longo said.
“People saw Hannah and people saw him, and people saw them together. And it’s entirely possible, we believe, that Hannah Graham may have gotten into his vehicle,” the chief said.
Longo asked for anyone to call police if they saw Graham get into the man’s 1998 burnt orange Chrysler coupe.
While the person is not in custody, “We know who he is and we are aware of where he is,” Det. Sgt. Jim Mooney said.
“I’m not calling him a suspect,” Longo said. “We’re interested in him, interested in talking to him, interested in what he knows about Hannah.”
The chief would not say whether he believed Graham was still alive.
“I will always be hopeful until we find Hannah,” he said.
Longo said he spoke with Graham’s parents shortly before the news conference. “They want their daughter back. They want to know what happened.”
Longo held his news conference after executing three search warrants on the car, an apartment and phone. He said that the searches “absolutely” marked a major break in the case.
The FBI joined the case in guidance role earlier this week and investigators are calling for volunteers as they plan a massive search Saturday. The volunteers are being asked to only join the search if they can walk four to five miles in a wooded area.
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