Chief: Aggressive search continues for UVa student

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Chief: Aggressive search continues for UVa student
Police described the 18-year-old Northern Virginia native as a 5'11" white female with a skinny build.
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Missing UVa. student Hannah Graham, 18, was last heard from on Saturday, September 13 at 1:20 a.m., WTVR-TV reported. 
Graham was last seen wearing a black crop top with mesh cut outs on Friday, September 12, according to WTVR-TV. 
Hannah Graham is approximately 5'11" tall and has blue eyes, light brown hair and freckles, according to the Charlottesville Police Department
According to Charlottesville police, friends of the 18-year-old received a text from her at around 1:20 a.m. on September 13, and have not heard from her since. 
Morgan Harrington
CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA- SEPTEMBER 19: A couple walks on the sidewalk after 2am at the apartment complex where Hannah Graham lived in Charlottesville. Photos depict the route (as captured by surveillance cameras) thought to be where the lasting sightings of Hannah Graham occurred. Images were made in the early a.m. hours after midnight to approximate the conditions under which she was last seen. She went missing in downtown last Saturday morning. (Photo by Michael S. Williamson/The Washington Post via Getty Images)
CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA- SEPTEMBER 19: At a Friday afternoon press conference Charlottesville (R) Police Chief Timothy Longo (that's Det. Sgt. Jim Mooney just left of him) was emotional as he pleaded with the public to think about anything they may have seen or remembered about events on the downtown mall last Friday at the time Hannah Graham disappeared. Graham went missing in downtown last Saturday morning. (Photo by Michael S. Williamson/The Washington Post via Getty Images)
CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA- SEPTEMBER 19: Investigators searched an apartment today as they followed up on a major lead they received in the case of missing UVA student Hannah Graham. They gathered after removing evidence from an apartment where a person of interest lived. Hannah Graham went missing in downtown last Saturday morning. (Photo by Michael S. Williamson/The Washington Post via Getty Images)
CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA- SEPTEMBER 19: Investigators searched an apartment today as they followed up on a major lead they received in the case of missing UVA student Hannah Graham. A forensics officer from the Charlottesville Police Department talked with a neighbor behind the apartment that was searched. Hannah Graham went missing in downtown last Saturday morning. (Photo by Michael S. Williamson/The Washington Post via Getty Images)
CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA- SEPTEMBER 19: At a Friday afternoon press conference Charlottesville (R) Police Chief Timothy Longo (that's Det. Sgt. Jim Mooney just left of him) was emotional as he pleaded with the public to think about anything they may have seen or remembered about events on the downtown mall last Friday at the time Hannah Graham disappeared. Graham went missing in downtown last Saturday morning. (Photo by Michael S. Williamson/The Washington Post via Getty Images)
CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA- SEPTEMBER 19: A couple walks on the sidewalk after 2am at the apartment complex where Hannah Graham lived in Charlottesville. Photos depict the route (as captured by surveillance cameras) thought to be where the lasting sightings of Hannah Graham occurred. Images were made in the early a.m. hours after midnight to approximate the conditions under which she was last seen. She went missing in downtown last Saturday morning. (Photo by Michael S. Williamson/The Washington Post via Getty Images)
CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA- SEPTEMBER 19: Bernard Bowles works very close to the spot on the mall where Heather Graham was last seen. He often hangs out in the area through the night and was around the night of her disappearance but says the he did not see anything unusual that night. Photos depict the route (as captured by surveillance cameras) thought to be where the lasting sightings of Hannah Graham occurred. Images were made in the early a.m. hours after midnight to approximate the conditions under which she was last seen. She went missing in downtown last Saturday morning. (Photo by Michael S. Williamson/The Washington Post via Getty Images)
If you saw Jesse Matthew or his car last Saturday morning w/ #HannahGraham, call the police tip line at 434.295.3851. http://t.co/65WLdgILX5
This is a picture of Jesse Matthew's car. If you think you saw it PLEASE call the tip line. 434-295-3851 @CBS6 http://t.co/WQBWDNmfhu
CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA- SEPTEMBER 19: At a Friday afternoon press conference Charlottesville (R) Police Chief Timothy Longo (that's Det. Sgt. Jim Mooney just left of him) was emotional as he pleaded with the public to think about anything they may have seen or remembered about events on the downtown mall last Friday at the time Hannah Graham disappeared. Graham went missing in downtown last Saturday morning. (Photo by Michael S. Williamson/The Washington Post via Getty Images)
CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA- SEPTEMBER 18: A candlelight vigil attended by hundreds was held tonight at McIntyre Amphitheater (on the UVA campus). The vigil was to honor Hannah Graham who went missing in downtown last Saturday morning. Among those who came to show support was (R) Lily Davis, (a freshman age 18) from Berryville, Va.(Photo by Michael S. Williamson/The Washington Post via Getty Images)
CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA- SEPTEMBER 18: A candlelight vigil attended by hundreds was held tonight at McIntyre Amphitheater (on the UVA campus). The vigil was to honor Hannah Graham who went missing in downtown last Saturday morning. (Photo by Michael S. Williamson/The Washington Post via Getty Images)
CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA- SEPTEMBER 19: Bernard Bowles works very close to the spot on the mall where Heather Graham was last seen. He often hangs out in the area through the night and was around the night of her disappearance but says the he did not see anything unusual that night. Photos depict the route (as captured by surveillance cameras) thought to be where the lasting sightings of Hannah Graham occurred. Images were made in the early a.m. hours after midnight to approximate the conditions under which she was last seen. She went missing in downtown last Saturday morning. (Photo by Michael S. Williamson/The Washington Post via Getty Images)
CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA- SEPTEMBER 19: Investigators searched an apartment today as they followed up on a major lead they received in the case of missing UVA student Hannah Graham. They gathered after removing evidence from an apartment where a person of interest lived. Hannah Graham went missing in downtown last Saturday morning. (Photo by Michael S. Williamson/The Washington Post via Getty Images)
CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA- SEPTEMBER 19: One of the cameras that captured Hannah Graham walking by on the mall. Photos depict the route (as captured by surveillance cameras) thought to be where the lasting sightings of Hannah Graham occurred. Images were made in the early a.m. hours after midnight to approximate the conditions under which she was last seen. She went missing in downtown last Saturday morning. (Photo by Michael S. Williamson/The Washington Post via Getty Images)
Thoughts are with @UVA as they search for one of their own, Hannah Graham. #OneStateOneFight #hoosgotyourback
Important: CPD has advised that a UVA student, Hannah Graham, has been missing since 1:20 am on Sat. Call CPD with info: 434-970-3280.
Photo of missing UVA student Hannah Graham may be found here: http://t.co/LjB6zbhpX8 Please contact CPD at 434-970-3280 if you have seen her
PLEASE RT: @UVA student Hannah Graham missing since Sat. If you have info, call 434-970-3280 http://t.co/suXp2pWXBd http://t.co/M6j4a2eeMO
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CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (AP) - Charlottesville's police chief said Sunday that an anguished statement from the parents of a missing University of Virginia student has given investigators fresh resolve to carry on with the difficult search of hundreds square miles of countryside.

Police Chief Timothy Longo said that law enforcement is aggressively searching areas surrounding Charlottesville - many of which are hilly or thick with brush - for Hannah Graham, who disappeared on Sept. 13.

He said he hopes that the plight of Hannah's parents moves anyone who may have information about the disappearance to come forward.

"This young lady disappeared. She was taken. Somebody has to know something. Somebody has to have seen something," he said in a short interview Sunday afternoon.

A team of about 100 law enforcement officers and other trained searchers were combing the countryside over the weekend for any sign of the college sophomore. Teams have been searching every day since the 18-year-old student vanished.

On Saturday, her parents made an emotional plea for whoever is responsible for the disappearance to help find their daughter. In the videotaped statement, Sue Graham said: "Please, please, please help end this nightmare for all of us." The Grahams also thanked law enforcement for their efforts.

Raw: Parents of Missing UVA Student Issue Plea

Longo said that while the timing of the release of the statement wasn't strategic, the Grahams want to assist the search effort. Law enforcement has received more than 3,300 tips, and thousands of people have seen the video carried by news organizations around the country.

"They don't want this to be about them. They want this to be about their daughter, and their fear is that if they're out there, this suddenly becomes about them," he said. "But they've also said: 'If we can be helpful to communicate a message, to generate community support or information, we're very happy to do that,'" he said.

Longo also said he read the Grahams' words aloud to the search team on Saturday.

"They went out here yesterday with a clearer understanding of the importance of finding Hannah Graham," he told reporters at a morning news briefing.

He asked area property owners to check their land.

"If you have a well on your property, search that well. If you have an abandoned structure, search that structure," he said.

Longo said all-terrain vehicles, aircraft and mounted officers are searching rural Albemarle County, parts of which are hilly or mountainous.

"Lots of these areas are very difficult to get to," he said.

Sharon Johnson, a canine handler and president of the nonprofit search organization Dogs East, has been assisting the search with a black German Shepherd named Gyro. Gyro is trained to detect the scent of any living human or body.

Asked about the challenges the searchers face, she noted the duration of the search and difficult brush that the dogs are trained to break through: "The dogs and the handlers are getting, just, tired."

But she added, "As long as we're needed, we'll be here."

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