The parents of missing University of Virginia student Hannah Graham thanked the public for their help and begged anyone with information to help them find their daughter.
"Somebody listening to me today either knows where Hannah is, or knows someone who has that information. We appeal to you to come forward and tell us where Hannah can be found," Sue Graham said in an emotional taped statement while sitting next to her husband, John. "John has already said that this is every parent's worst nightmare. ... Please, please, please help end this nightmare for all of us. Please help us to bring Hannah home."
Hannah Graham, 18, disappeared on Sept. 13. She was last seen in Charlottesville, Va., in the Downtown Mall. Despite thousands of tips from the public and search teams out every day for the past three weeks, she has not been found.
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"Despite extensive search efforts, no trace of Hannah has been found since she disappeared in the early hours of Saturday, Sept. the 13th, now more than three weeks ago," Sue Graham said tearfully. "The police have received thousands of tips, and to each one of you who made the effort to call in with information, we express our heartfelt thanks. We also thank all of you who have actively searched your properties and reported the results to the police. However, despite all your efforts, Hannah is still missing."
Jesse Leroy Matthew Jr., a former college football lineman at Liberty University, has been charged with "abduction with intent to defile" in the disappearance. Police say forensic evidence connects the 32-year-old Charlottesville man to the 2009 slaying of Morgan Harrington, a 20-year-old Virginia Tech student.
The Grahams thanked the investigators as well as members of the public who have offered support.
"We would like again to express our enormous gratitude to all those who have been involved in the search for Hannah, including the police, the professional search teams, the people staffing the telephone tip line, U.Va. students, our friends, neighbors and work colleagues as well as the citizens of Charlottesville and the surrounding area. We would also like to thank the many, many kind people who have supported our family during this terrible ordeal through words, deeds, thoughts and prayers."
A search team of about 110 people including law enforcement officers and trained volunteers was combing through fields and countryside around Charlottesville on Saturday.
Mark Eggeman, search and rescue coordinator for the Virginia Department of Emergency Management, said a plane was taking high-definition images on Saturday of areas on the west and east sides of town, which will then be scanned and analyzed with computer software.
An unmanned drone was used earlier in the week to survey an area where power lines would have made it difficult to fly a plane or helicopter.
"It still takes boots on the ground," said Eggeman, who's been involved in search and rescue for 30 years. "Despite what you see on CSI, and everything else, you still have to do it the old-fashioned way."
Contributing: The Associated Press