Officials using hi-tech cameras to find Hannah Graham

WASHINGTON — The search for missing University of Virginia student Hannah Graham ramps up this weekend in Charlottesville.

It’s now been three weeks since the 18-year-old vanished.

“We’ve [got] about 110 personnel on scene,” says Mark Eggeman, search and rescue coordinator for the Virginia Department of Emergency Management.

And while calls pour in from people wanting to help the search, “we can’t use them at this point,” Eggeman says. “We appreciate the offer.” Right now, he continues, there’s only room for trained search teams and law enforcement since they are canvassing private property.

“Our big push this weekend is to cover everything we can within that eight-mile radius of the downtown area where Hannah went missing,” Eggeman says.

Since the weather is clear on Saturday, searchers will use a recon aircraft with high resolution cameras. They “can pick out anomalies,” Eggeman says of the cameras. “By computer, they can see things that you and I would struggle for a very long time to look at it visually and go through it.”

Aiding the weekend search: ATVs, mounted search and rescue teams and K9 units.

“We have not stopped since this started,” Eggeman says. “We have been boots on the ground every day; there are search efforts that have been going on every day.”

Many local waterways have been eliminated by air search: “Most of [them] have already been flown by helicopter looking overhead into the small retention ponds and rivers and things like that.”

Although the tips have slowed down, Eggeman says, “we continue to get leads.” The search continues on Sunday.

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