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Police: Missing UVa. student Hannah Graham seen running past gas station, entering Downtown Mall

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Posted at 6:53 AM, Sep 17, 2014
and last updated 2014-09-17 16:47:46-04

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – Police searching for missing UVa. student Hannah Graham said a witness spotted the teenager enter the Downtown Mall in Charlottesville the morning she disappeared. The Downtown Mall is a pedestrian mall with stores and restaurants along either side.

Charlottesville Police Capt. Gary Pleasants said prior to the sighting on the Downtown Mall, a security camera at a nearby Shell gas station captured video of Graham running by the gas station, according to WTVR.

He said the video revealed no one was chasing her at the time, and was recorded just before 1 a.m. Saturday.

Charlottesville Police have asked businesses at the Downtown Mall to preserve security camera video so detectives could determine if it contained clues into what happened to Graham.

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The updated timeline of the last hours anyone heard from Graham looks like this:

  • 11: 50 p.m. Friday — Graham last seen by friends at Camden Plaza Apartments, in the 200 block of 14th Street NW.
  • 12:45 a.m. Saturday — Graham seen on surveillance video outside of McGrady’s Pub on Grady Street.
  • 12:55 a.m. Saturday — Graham seen on Shell station surveillance video on Preston Ave.
  • 1 a.m. Saturday — Witness reports seeing Graham on Downtown Mall
  • 1:20 a.m. Saturday — Graham sends a text to friends saying she was lost in the area around 14th and Wertland Streets.

Captain Pleasants said the camera outside McGrady’s Irish Pub showed Graham walking “in front of the building for several minutes, apparently it appears, maybe even talking to someone, and then walking away –leaving east bound on Grady at 12:46 a.m.”

That would be the opposite direction of her apartment, police said. Police said a blood hound picked up Graham’s scent right outside the Irish pub; but where it led them, they have not said.

Officers held a press conference Wednesday afternoon, to share and explain the videos. Ahead of sharing the videos, police said they believe Hannah lost her bearings.

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Hannah Elizabeth Graham in her apartment building earlier in the night,

“We don’t know whether it was auto correct on her phone or she just typed it in wrong, we have no idea,” said Police Capt. Gary Pleasants about her final text, which police now believe had wrong information on her location.

“A lot of things happen when you send out messages and text, and we’re following that,” said Pleasants. Police said Graham was “fairly well intoxicated” at the time she was last seen.