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Could U.Va. disappearance be linked to other missing women?

Hannah Graham

CBS affiliate WCAV

CHARLOTTESVILLE. Va. -- Local law enforcement along with FBI are looking into the possibility that the abduction suspect in the disappearance of a University of Virginia student may be connected to other young women who have vanished from the Charlottesville Virginia area over the last five years, a law enforcement source told CBS News.

Jesse Matthew, 32, was arrested Wednesday in Galveston Texas and is charged in the disappearance of Hannah Graham, an 18-year-old student who has been missing since Sept. 13.

The source said that investigators are looking at one or two of the missing women in particular to see if there is a possible link between Matthew and their disappearances.

Hannah Graham is the fifth young woman in five years to vanish within a few miles of Route 29, the main highway which runs through Charlottesville.

The body of one woman has been recovered.

Nineteen-year-old Samantha Ann Clarke, who vanished after leaving her Orange County town house in September 2010, 19-year-old DaShad Laquinn Smith, who disappeared in Charlottesville in November 2012, and 17-year-old Alexis Murphy, who was last seen near Lynchburg, Va. in August of 2013 and whose car was found in Charlottesville, remain missing.

Randolph Taylor was convicted in May of Murphy's abduction and murder, though her body has never been found. In a statement to WTVR, Nelson County Commonwealth's Attorney Anthony Martin said he believed there was no evidence to suggest Matthew was involved in Murphy's disappearance.

Taylor implicated another man in Murphy's disappearance who was later cleared, Martin told WTVR. That man was not Matthew, he said.

Orange County, Va. Commonwealth Attorney Diana H. Wheeler told WTVR last year that Taylor was a person of interest in Clarke's disappearance. He was never charged.

Morgan Harrington, a 20-year-old Virginia Tech student, disappeared from the University of Virginia's John Paul Jones Arena while attending a rock concert in October 2009. Her remains were found three months later in a rural area. In 2012, the FBI released a new sketch of a man they believe is responsible for killing Harrington, but no arrests have been made.

Police have previously said they do not think Graham's disappearance is linked to any of the other missing women.

According to authorities, Graham met friends at a restaurant for dinner Sept. 12 before stopping by two parties at off-campus housing units. Officials said she left the second party alone and sent a text message to a friend saying she was lost.

Matthew was arrested Wednesday afternoon on a beach in the sparsely populated community of Gilchrist, Texas by Galveston County Sheriff's authorities, Charlottesville Police Chief Timothy Longo said. The capture came less than a full day after police announced they had probable cause to arrest Matthew on charges of abduction with intent to defile Graham.

Surveillance videos showed her walking, and at some points running, past a pub and a service station and then onto the Downtown Mall, a seven-block pedestrian strip where police believe she entered a bar with Matthew. Police have previously said Matthew was seen on surveillance video walking with Graham on the mall, and they believe she later went to a bar with him and may have been in his car when he left the area.