The disappearance of University of Virginia student Hannah Graham has been forensically linked to the disappearance of four other women along the Route 29 corridor, police say.
Graham, 18, has been missing since Sept. 13. Jesse L. Matthew Jr., 32, has been charged with her abduction with intent to defile.
Investigators now say forensic evidence has linked Graham’s disappearance to four other women who went missing in the same area of Virginia in the last five years. The remains of only one of the victims, 20-year-old Morgan Harrington, was ever found.
Harrington, also a UVA student, disappeared in October 2009. She was last seen trying to hitch a ride after a Metallica concert in Charlottesville. Her death was linked to the 2005 sexual assault of a 26-year-old woman, who managed to escape.
This “significant break” in the case could link Matthew to numerous unsolved disappearances, forensic pathologist and former chief medical examiner of NYC Dr. Michael Baden told Fox News.
Baden said the evidence may not be DNA — investigators could have found clothing, jewelry or other items linking Matthew to the other victims.
Former FBI profiler Clint Van Zandt told Fox News he’s not surprised by the new evidence.
"Since this most recent victim disappeared, I said time and again that if they could find out who was responsible there was a good chance the same person would be responsible for Morgan Harrington and a number of others," said Van Zandt.
Morgan’s mother Gil Harrington told the MailOnline her “heart goes out to Hannah’s family.”
“The missing time is the hardest. You have no answers and you fill in the blanks in a horrible way,” she said. “It's much worse having a missing daughter than knowing she is dead. There are rituals for death. There are no cards for ‘sorry about your missing child.’ You go from hope to despair. It's hideous.”
Morgan Harrington’s remains were found in rural farmland three months after her disappearance.
Matthew has not entered a plea. He has not been charged in any other case.
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