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  1. As to a fresh look….sometimes young college women lie about where they are going, even to their friends or change their minds on a whim and go in directions that don’t make sense. The places where they are intending to go cannot even be guessed by others.

    When I was a 1st year at UVA I was there just a few days when I was with my dorm suitemates at the “corner.” This is an area close to where Hannah lived.. We were getting books. It was around 1PM. They started heading back to the dorm which was a 20 min walk. I said I just wanted to run into the one store and get a t-shirt and would meet them back at dorm.

    I never intended to get the t-shirt. I just wanted some time alone from 5 girls. Up until then I’d felt suffocated having to travel with a bunch of overprotective girls. I started walking down the corner, then ventured a little further down Main and saw a sign indicating Monticello (home of Thomas Jefferson) was that way. I remember having heard Jefferson could see Monticello from the Academical Village so it must not be far. I proceeded to walk over 5 miles , finally giving up when I almost got hit by a car walking up the mountain road to Monticello.

    It was insane. It defied reason. I told no one. I was completely sober.

    I was happy. I was independent. It was just one big adventure. On the way home it got dark. I’d been walking slow on the way there, taking wrong turns and windowshopping. Lots of “townies” wanted to give me a ride. Wanted to know where I was going. Maybe 4 cars pulled over and slowed and wanted to pick me up and followed me when I walked. I was smart enough never to get in a car with someone I didn’t know. Thank goodness. I went through some rough neighborhoods. Just a smile on my face. I was getting some good exercise and seeing some great scenery

    I got to the dorm at 11PM. My suitemates were so happy to see me, then angry. They had been worried and even notified our Resident Assistant in the dorm I was missing. i got a long lecture from my suitemates how irresponsible that was. My response was “I’m an adult I can go where and when I want.” That was true. UVA has no requirement to be my nanny.

    If I had been abducted by getting into any of those cars I imagine there would have been quite a mystery. Eyewitness accounts would have place me walking a meandering route under no distress. My family and friends would have come forward and told how I was a straight A student and one of the most responsible people they knew. Suitemates would have said I was at the t-shirt store, yet no one would be able to say I was there. People may have assumed I was lost and trying to get back to my dorm. People may have assumed I got picked up and dumped there. Authorities may have thought I was looking for drugs or meeting up with a local for something illicit (afterall, I didn’t have a boyfriend), as I lied about where I was going. Who knows. Afterall, I was walking in an area with 2-way traffic with no curb and blindspots nowhere near campus. People would have thought I didn’t mean to end up there..

    I’m sure Jesse Matthew knows where Hannah is. I’m sure he knows when he met her where Hannah wanted to go. Her judgement may have been impaired enough to have accepted a ride from a stranger.

    I do believe youth gives you a feeling of invincibility. Hannah had a cell phone. She could have called for a cab at anytime. I could have used a quarter and called for a cab at any time too. I was too naive though to understand I could be in danger.

    I read your blogs about your sister. Terribly sad. Worse the authorities dismissed it with their theories. Could she have been heading somewhere other than where she told her friends she was going but not what authorities just threw out there?

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