Graham Search Suspended; Details Released About Father’s Actions the Night of Daughter’s Disappearance


Ember Graham's father is a person of interest regarding her disappearance.

Ember Graham’s father is a person of interest regarding her disappearance.

On July 7, 2015, at approximately 1700 hours, the ground search for Ember Sky Graham will be suspended. Searchers from all over the Northstate have searched for Ember in the Happy Valley, Cloverdale, Clear Creek, and Centerville areas looking for any sign of her with negative results. Shasta County Search and Rescue will be redeployed if any future viable tips surface.

From the onset of this case the Sheriff’s Office Major Crimes Unit has been investigating the incident. On day one numerous law enforcement agencies that make up the CART team (Child Abduction Response Team) ascended on the area and conducted door to door canvassing of the neighborhood and surrounding areas developing no viable leads as too Ember’s whereabouts. The Sheriff’s Office Major Crimes Unit has investigated this case from all angles. At this time we have not found any credible evidence supporting Matthew Graham’s account that Ember was abducted by a stranger or by anyone else.

Matthew came voluntarily to the Sheriff’s Office on day one to be interviewed. Immediately investigators began to find several inconsistencies in his statement during routine questioning of events leading up to the time of Ember’s missing report. Matthew showed very little remorse for the disappearance of his daughter. At no time during the eight plus hours that he was with detectives did he ever inquire what was being done to find her. He also refused to submit to a CVSA (Computer Voice Stress Analysis) exam to help rule himself out as a participant in his daughter’s disappearance. He offered little to no assistance to investigators to help clear himself. During the course of the investigation video surveillance was obtained from the Happy Stop Market near the corner of Oak Street and Cloverdale Ln in Happy Valley. The surveillance showed Matthew arriving with Ember not fastened in a safety seat, as he took her into the store and pumps fuel. He then drove out the parking lot heading westbound on Cloverdale Ln in the opposite direction from his home.

Matthew told detectives that he was taking a drive to get Ember to fall asleep. Keeping in mind the sweltering temperatures that day, and that his vehicle is not equipped with air conditioning the child would not likely fall asleep under those conditions. Matthew was adamant that he drove to the intersection of Clear Creek Rd and Cloverdale Ln, completed a U-turn and drove back home. Investigators took Matthew to the location and drove the route. The round trip from the Happy Stop Market and back took approximately 8 minutes under normal driving speeds.

Matthew said he did not stop and did not have any vehicle problems while on this trip. He agreed that it only took under 10 minutes to complete the drive.

What Matthew didn’t know prior to making that statement is that detectives had video surveillance showing he left the Happy Stop Market and also video of him driving back by over an hour later. When he was shown this he immediately said he didn’t think it was that long and then could not remember what he did or went during that hour. When detectives pressed him to remember, he asked to speak with a lawyer before any further questioning. This is one of many inconstancies in Matthews’s statement.

When investigating the possibility that a third party could have abducted Ember as Matthew has stated, detectives have considered several facts. Matthew was keeping Ember in an approximate 25 foot camp trailer on the Noosha Ln property. The trailer has no running water or working bathroom. The sewage from the main residence flows into a cesspool and the property is covered in garbage and old vehicles. The property is cross fenced and you have to go through two gates and guard dogs that will bark and confront strangers. 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 or similar tool. You would also need to have some knowledge on how to operate the 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 within 10 seconds of being picked up by a stranger.

When Matthew said he laid Ember down it was so hot that he only had her sleeping in a diaper. He said he had a swamp cooler on which would mask noise however later said it was so “chilly” that he turned it off prior to going to sleep. Records indicate the outside temperature was over 90 degrees around the time he said he went to sleep. Due to Ember’s medical conditions she does not sleep consistently and needs to be fed every two hours. Matthew said he went to sleep around 2230 hours, and did not wake up until around 0530 hours. He later told detectives that he passed out and had been smoking “wax” marijuana honey oil all night.

Ember has special medical needs. She is prone to having seizures and takes medicine twice a day to control them. The medication does not make her tired or sleepy, but rather it makes her restless so that she never really goes into REM sleep. Due to the medication, Ember is a very restless sleeper, is constantly flailing around, and wakes up at night about every 2 hours to eat.

Currently Matthew is in custody on a felony probation violation hold. During his interview he admitted to manufacturing and extracting honey oil. The precursors to a honey oil extraction operation were found in his trailer. He is also using prescription medication that he failed to disclose to his probation officer as part of his probation orders.

As of this date, Matthew Graham is still considered as a Person of Interest into the disappearance of Ember Graham. Detectives with the Shasta County Sheriff’s Office, Major Crimes Unit continue to follow up on leads and are continuing to investigate the circumstances surrounding Ember’s disappearance as to Matthew Graham’s involvement as well as any information of a third party abduction.

At this time the Sheriff’s Office Major Crimes Unit will field all inquiries from the press from the current PIO Lt. Dave Kent.

Anyone with information leading to the whereabouts of Ember Graham, please contact Shasta County Sheriff’s Major Crimes Unit at (530) 245-6135 or Sheriff’s Records at (530) 245-6025. Information can also be sent to the Sheriff’s Major Crimes Unit email address: mcu@co.shasta.ca.us

Press Release

-from press release

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