Search for missing baby suspended, new details released

Jul 7, 2015 7:45 PM by News Staff

There is still no sign of 6-month-old Ember Graham and Shasta County authorities have suspended search efforts.

Family members, volunteers and search teams from several law enforcement agencies continued searching for Ember Tuesday, while the child's father appeared in a Shasta County Courtroom across town.

Matthew Graham became a person of interest in his daughter's disappearance after giving inconsistent statements to investigators. He reported the baby missing Thursday morning, saying he last saw her in her crib Wednesday night. A night he admitted to investigators he spent smoking marijuana honey oil.

On Tuesday afternoon, the sheriff's office released new information about the case, and some of the inconsistencies in Matthew Graham's story, but they have not filed any charges against him in connection to Ember's disappearance.

According to the sheriff's office, during the initial interview Mathew showed very little remorse for the disappearance of his daughter, and never asked what was being done to find her. Additionally he refused to take a lie detector test.

While investigating the case, authorities obtained surveillance video from the Happy Stop Market near the corner of Oak Street and Cloverdale Lane in Happy Valley. The video showed Matthew arrive at the store, with Ember not properly restrained in her car seat.

When asked about the video, Matthew allegedly told detectives that he was taking a drive to help Ember fall asleep, and was certain he only drove to the intersection of Clear Creek Road and Cloverdale Lane, made a U-turn and gone home. The trip Matthew says he made, is a trip to detectives say takes just eight minutes. However, the video from Happy Stop Market shows him driving back by the store over an hour later.

Shasta County Sheriff's Sgt. Pat Kropholler said that when investigating the possibility Ember was abducted, as Matthew Graham claims, detectives considered several facts:

Matthew was keeping Ember in an approximate 25 foot camp trailer on the Noosha Lane property. The trailer door leading to Ember's playpen, where Matthew said she was sleeping, has a broken door handle mechanism and needs to be opened with a screwdriver. An abductor would have to know how to open that door. Crime scene technicians found the door to be difficult to open and close as it did not fit in the frame well and made noise opening and closing.

According to Matthew, Ember would cry anytime a stranger picked her up, making it highly unlikely she was taken from the property unnoticed.

Shasta County Sheriff Tom Bosenko said Monday that due to Matthew Graham's inconsistent statements and layout of property, it is "highly improbable" that Ember was abducted.

Matthew Graham was in court today following his arrest for a probation violation last Friday. According to the sheriff's office, Graham violated probation when he failed to disclose the prescription medications he was taking.

Graham's scheduled arraignment was postponed Tuesday, but he is expected back in court Wednesday. He remains in jail on $25,000 bail.

Shasta County Sheriff Tom Bosenko tells Action News Now he expects to submit a case against Graham to the District Attorney's Office soon.

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