Witness: Dog detected traces of slain student in home
Charlottesville, Va. — A former detective testified Monday that a police bloodhound detected traces of a slain University of Virginia student inside the apartment and on the car door of the man charged in her killing.
According to media outlets, former Louisa County Sheriff’s Office Detective Buck Garner also said the bloodhound found 18-year-old Hannah Graham’s scent at an industrial site about a mile from downtown Charlottesville. He said the dog alerted him to a scent indicating “fear and adrenaline,” suggesting that Graham may have been attacked near a mulch pile at the site.
The new details emerged in a daylong pretrial hearing for Jesse Matthew Jr., 34, who is charged with capital murder in Graham’s 2014 disappearance and death. Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty.
Matthew also faces first-degree murder charges in the 2009 death of 20-year-old Virginia Tech student Morgan Harrington. He is serving a life prison term for a 2005 attempted murder and sexual assault in northern Virginia.
Garner testified at length Monday about his involvement in the early days of the Graham investigation working with a 7-year-old bloodhound named Shaker.
He described following Shaker as the dog traced Graham’s scent to Charlottesville’s downtown, where she was last seen. Surveillance video from businesses showed Graham walking alongside Matthew. Her remains were found six weeks later on an abandoned property in Albemarle County, about 12 miles from campus.
Garner testified that Shaker at one point traced a long route east from the Downtown Mall to the industrial site. During a subsequent search, Garner said, Shaker detected Graham’s scent on the passenger door of Matthew’s vehicle, in the doorway to his home and near a dumpster at his apartment complex. Garner said the dog did not find Graham’s scent near other apartments.