VA * CRITICAL MISSING CHILD ALERT CANCELED *
CHILD'S BODY RECOVERED, TWO IN CUSTODY#PRAYERWARRIORS
It is with deep sadness that I post this update.
Jesus be with this precious child.
Prayers for Nicole's family, friends, community, and Law Enforcement
BLACKSBURG — Nicole Lovell left her apartment last week and sometime shortly after was stabbed to death, based on a finding of a preliminary autopsy report released during a Tuesday news conference.
It was the latest development in a murder case that’s being followed nationally and is generating question after question about the last hours of the 13-year-old’s life and the two teens now charged in her death.
Nicole, who lived in Blacksburg’s Lantern Ridge apartment complex, was stabbed to death on or about Jan. 27, the day she went missing, according to her autopsy, said Montgomery County Commonwealth’s Attorney Mary Pettitt.
Natalie Marie Keepers, 19, was charged with accessory before the fact to Lovell’s first-degree murder, Pettitt also announced Tuesday. Keepers was previously charged with improper disposal of a body and being an accessory after the fact.
David Eisenhauer, 18, is charged with the first-degree murder and abduction of Lovell.
Eisenhauer and Keepers were Virginia Tech students at the time of Lovell’s disappearance.
In other developments in the case Tuesday:
Nicole’s mother, Tammy Weeks, spoke to the media-filled news conference at the Blacksburg Transit building. Throughout, she called her 13-year-old daughter by the nickname she said her family has always used — “Coley.” She spoke of her daughter’s physical illnesses that began shortly after she was born on May 3, 2002. By the time she was 10 months old, the infant was in need of a liver transplant, Weeks said. She fought through that and was finally able to come home when she was 1 year old.“Coley tried to live a normal life up until age 4, when she was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma,” Weeks said, with her legs trembling and arm clutching a stuffed panda bear. “At this point we almost lost her for a second time. She fought once again.” According to Weeks, her daughter’s health began deteriorating again a short time later and the child slipped into a coma for six months. “We were advised at that time she only had a 1 percent chance of survival,” Weeks said. “Coley once again beat the odds. After eight months in the hospital, she was released and started to thrive.”Nicole’s funeral arrangements were also announced by the Blacksburg Police Department. Her visitation will be held Wednesday from 5 to 8 p.m. at McCoy Funeral Home in Blacksburg. The funeral service will be held at the same location at 3 p.m. Thursday. She is survived by two brothers and a sister.Grayson County Sheriff Richard Vaughan confirmed Tuesday that Eisenhauer has family that lives less than 8 miles from where Nicole’s body was discovered. He did not discuss any other details about the family.
Here’s a timeline with other details of the case to this point:
Nicole Lovell’s family members have said she climbed out of her bedroom window late at night Tuesday into Wednesday, the same day Nicole is reported to have been abducted. A liver recipient, Nicole did not have the medication she needed, police and family members have said.Late last week, police charged Eisenhauer with Nicole’s abduction and murder. Police announced Nicole’s body was discovered off Highway 89 in Surry County, North Carolina, on Saturday.On Sunday, Keepers, 19, was charged with improper disposal of Nicole’s body and being an accessory after the fact.
The charges Eisenhauer and Keepers face can carry life imprisonment.
Eisenhauer and Keepers, both of Maryland, are being held in jail without bond. They have been banned from campus, the university announced. They’ve been described by some who know them as high-achievers. Eisenhauer, whose family lived in Yakima, Washington, before moving to the suburbs of Baltimore, is a decorated runner and he was studying engineering at Virginia Tech. Keepers was also an engineering student and graduated high school with honors.
Police have said Eisenhauer and Nicole Lovell had a relationship before she went missing. Nicole was active on numerous social media sites — from Facebook to Instagram to Kik — and that part of the case has generated a discussion of the perils of such activity.
Many questions about the case remain unanswered.
Whether the murder charge could be upgraded to capital murder is an outstanding matter. In Virginia, premeditated murder with abduction can carry the possibility of death. Police have charged Eisenhauer with abduction and first-degree murder, which means prosecutors plan to prove premeditation.
But Roanoke Deputy Commonwealth’s Attorney Betty Jo Anthony said things aren’t that black and white.
She said she isn’t familiar with the specifics of Eisenhauer’s case, but spoke generally about what it takes to charge someone with capital murder.
First, commonwealth’s attorneys have discretion in how they charge. So even if the offense rises to capital murder, prosecutors will have to look at the specific circumstances to decide if the charge is appropriate.
After reviewing Virginia code, Anthony added that first-degree murder with abduction could potentially rise to capital murder if the abduction was committed with intent to extort money or something else of value, or to defile the victim.
Police have not released any details about the motive behind the abduction Eisenhauer is accused of.
If the prosecution does decide to charge Eisenhauer with capital murder, Anthony said it could happen now or not until much later in the judicial process.
“There’s no way to tell until they tell you,” she said.
Pettitt has not addressed the topic and didn’t respond to a message from The Roanoke Times asking if it’s a possibility.
During Tuesday’s news conference, Pettitt said: “I appreciate the desire of the media and the public for details. However, my responsibility to Nicole Lovell and this community is to maintain the integrity of the case and seek justice in the courtroom. I will not jeopardize the many hours of work these officers have done for Nicole. Therefore, I will not be releasing any additional factual information outside of court.”
Meanwhile, Weeks, during her remarks Tuesday, succumbed to the tears as she talked about the things her child enjoyed most: pandas, music, dancing. She dreamed of being on “American Idol” and her favorite color was blue.
“Nicole touched many people throughout her short life,” Weeks said before she couldn’t carry on any further and stepped out of the view of the cameras where she was embraced by police.
Nicole’s youth pastor Josh Blankenship stepped up to the podium to finish the statement.
“Our hearts still ache with sadness and secret tears still flow,” he read.
“What it meant to lose you no one will ever know.”http://www.roanoke.com/news/local/blacksburg/initial-autopsy-report-nicole-lovell-was-stabbed-on-the-day/article_6c5cee8b-d7f1-5388-bf5a-c3cb8c9ab1ff.html?mode=jqm
* * MEDICAL ALERT * #PrayerAndAShare
NICOLE MADISON LOVELL 13 YO WHITE FEMALE, BROWN HAIR, BLUE EYES, 4'08", 125 LBS; TRACHEOTOMY SCAR ON NECK
WEARING GREY STRIPED 'MOSSY OAK' SHIRT, BLACK JEANS, BROWN/PINK 'PHAT BABY' COWBOY BOOTS; CARRYING BLUE/YELLOW 'MINIONS' BLANKET
** IN NEED OF IMMEDIATE MEDICAL CARE ** IF SEEN CONTACT 911 IMMEDIATELY **
NICOLE REQUIRES NECESSARY MEDICATIONS FOR LIVER TRANSPLANT, WITHOUT WHICH, NICOLE'S ORGANS WILL SHUT DOWN
LAST SEEN 1/27/16 IN THE LANTERN RIDGE AREA, MIDNIGHT - 7:00 AM.
BLACKSBURG POLICE DEPARTMENT 540-961-1150
EMAIL CIU @BLACKSBURG.GOV