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Cops: Missing UVA student was seen near pedestrian mall

Missing University of Virginia student Hannah Graham is seen in a surveillance photo on Friday, Sept. 12, 2014, at 9:33 p.m., reportedly within a few hours of when she was last seen.

WCAV/Charlottesville police

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. -- Acting on an eyewitness' tip and a new video, police searching for a missing University of Virginia student canvassed downtown businesses Wednesday in hopes of retracing her steps when she was last seen early Saturday.

The search for Hannah Graham, 18, shifted after a surveillance video showed her running down a street near a bar where she was last seen late Friday, Charlottesville Police Capt. Gary Pleasants said.

Surveillance video captured Graham running past a gas station, reports CBS affiliate WTVR.

An eyewitness also placed her about 1 a.m. Saturday in the Downtown Mall, a busy, seven-block pedestrian strip with retail stores and restaurants alongside, he said. A team of detectives went door-to-door at businesses in the hope a business owner had surveillance video of Graham, Pleasants said.

Police said Tuesday that another surveillance video showed Graham walking outside an Irish pub. The pub where Graham was last seen is about a half mile from the Downtown Mall, Pleasants said. Graham's friends reported her missing Sunday.

They last heard from her Saturday morning, when she texted a friend after leaving a party to say she was lost in the area of 14th and Wertland Streets.

Now, investigators say they don't believe she was in that area at all, reports the station. They're attempting to access cell phone records to pinpoint the location from which the text was sent, WTVR reported.

The search for the northern Virginia woman has involved local police, the Virginia State Police, University of Virginia police and the FBI, which is processing leads, Pleasants said. The search has also included canine teams and helicopters.

Asked if investigators were fearful Graham was abducted, Pleasants said, "Right now there's nothing that points to anything criminal. However, we're obviously not discounting anything."

In a statement, Graham's family said she "would not disappear without contacting family or friends."

At least three other young women have disappeared in the area in the last five years. Pleasants said there was "no indication" Graham's disappearance was linked to any of the other cases. Graham is 5-foot-11 with blue eyes, light brown hair and freckles.

Police released surveillance photos showing Graham dressed in the black slacks and gold and black crop top she was believed to be wearing when she disappeared. Graham was born in Great Britain and moved to the states with her family 13 years ago, Pleasants said.

Police have established a designated tip line for information on Graham. The number is 434-295-3851.