David Edmond Eisenhauer has been arrested for the murder of 13-year-old Nicole Lovell, leading many to wonder how the Virginia Tech engineering major and standout track athlete could be accused of something so terrible.
The 18-year-old freshman was charged on Saturday, just hours before Lovell’s body was found near the North Carolina border.
Lovell had been missing since Wednesday in the early morning hours. The girl’s mother said Nicole climbed out of her bedroom window sometime between midnight and 7 a.m that day. Authorities said Nicole Lovell was without the prescription medication she needed to prevent organ failure after a liver transplant, WSHV reported.
Thousands of law enforcement officials and volunteers searched for the teen, but on Saturday night her father announced that she had been found dead.
“Devastated to learn that my daughter has been found dead!” he wrote on Facebook. “I’m so in shock I know nothing more to say, I’m broken!”
Authorities did not specify how Lovell’s body was found or her cause of death. Reports indicate that the teen was active in Facebook dating groups, but it is not clear if that is connected to her murder.
“I don’t want to comment specifically on what evidence there may be,” said Montgomery County Commonwealth’s Attorney Mary Pettitt. “We’re gathering a lot of it and the medical examiner’s report will be a very important part of that.”
David Edmond Eisenhauer had been arrested on Saturday and charged with one felony count of abduction. After Lovell’s body was discovered, he was also charged with first-degree murder. Authorities said he had not confessed to the murder and did not give information about where her body was found.
“This was a huge investigation that involved, unfortunately, taking apart the life of a 13-year-old and figuring out where she was and who she had come in contact with,” Blacksburg Police Chief Anthony Wilson told the Richmond Times Dispatch. “I’m not going to go into all the specific pieces of it, but when the pieces did come together, Mr. Eisenhauer was identified.”
Wilson said police are now re-constructing a timeline and continuing the investigation.
“This is the most devastating thing you can do to a family. We’ve got some very wounded folks in our community,” Wilson said.
David Edmond Eisenhauer is an engineering major at Virginia Tech and was known as a standout athlete. He was reportedly a member of the school’s cross country team.
The Richmond Post Dispatch reported,
“Eisenhauer was a standout track-and-field athlete in high school, according to an online biography. He was a three-time state champion in track and also competed in cross country, finishing second in the state both his junior and senior years. He was a first-team, all-state choice in cross country and a second-team All-Southeast Region selection, the biography stated.”
Virginia Tech also played a major role in the search efforts, as 1,000 members of the Virginia Tech Corps of Cadets helped search for Nicole Lovell.
Virginia Tech officials also expressed condolences to Lovell’s family in a statement released shortly after her body was found.
“The entire Virginia Tech community extends its support to Nichole’s family and friends,” the statement read. “The university is also reaching out to our campus community and the greater New River Valley community who may be affected by the events that have occurred over the past several days.”
David Edmond Eisenhauer is being held without bond at the Montgomery County Jail. His felony arrest also prompted an immediate suspension from Virginia Tech
[Image via Blackburg Police]