Yellow ribbons adorn the streets of Hannah Graham’s Northern Virginia neighborhood, symbols of hope in a community devastated by the disappearance of a woman described as extremely intelligent and witty, with a dry sense of humor.
Graham vanished on Sept. 13, her steps recorded by grainy surveillance videos as she walked unaccompanied on the streets of Charlottesville and its popular Downtown Mall, an open air center of shops, bars and restaurants. She is a sophomore at the University of Virginia.
A suspect in her disappearance, Jesse Leroy Matthew Jr., was extradited from Texas on Friday after he was arrested on a beach Wednesday near Galveston. Because of a statewide judicial conference at the courthouse, the earliest Matthew could make a court appearance is Thursday.
Police have charged Matthew, 32, with “abduction with intent to defile” the 18-year-old Graham. “Defile,” in a legal context, means “sexually molest.”