Nicole Madison Lovell, 13, was found dead on Saturday evening — four days after she was reported missing from her Blacksburg, Virginia, home. Authorities have arrested David Edmond Eisenhauer, 18, and Natalie Marie Keepers, 19, in connection with the teen’s death.
Lovell’s family reported her missing from the Lantern Ridge apartment complex in the early morning hours of Wednesday, January 27.
Authorities did not suspect foul play, as Nicole barricaded her bedroom door with a dresser and apparently left through the window. However, they were terribly concerned about her health, because she was the recipient of a liver transplant.
Following the transplant, Nicole Madison Lovell was required to take medication twice per day. Otherwise, her body would reject the liver and her vital organs would “start shutting down.”
ABC 13 reports the teen left home without her medication, despite the fact that she knew it was a matter of life-and-death.
As the situation was dire, local authorities sought help from numerous law enforcement agencies, including the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Virginia Tech’s Army Corp of Cadets.
On Sunday, authorities found the 13-year-old girl’s body in Surry County, North Carolina, near the North Carolina border. Although an autopsy has not been performed, authorities believe the teen was lured from her home and murdered before her remains were dumped in Surrey Country.
Roanoke.com reports David Edmond Eisenhauer and Natalie Marie Keepers, who were both students at Virginia Tech, were arrested and charged in connection with the teen’s death.
Eisenhauer was charged with abduction and murder. Keepers, who was reportedly his accomplice, was charged with improper disposal of a body and accessory after the fact in the commission of a felony. The teens are both being held at the Montgomery County Jail without bond.
Authorities have not revealed a motive for the gruesome crime. However, Blacksburg police Lieutenant Mike Albert confirmed Nicole Madison Lovell and David Edmond Eisenhauer were friends.
In an official statement, provided by NewsDay, the Blackburn Police Department suggested Eisenhauer used that relationship to take advantage of the 13-year-old girl.
“Based on the evidence collected to date, investigators have determined that Eisenhauer and Nicole were acquainted prior to her disappearance. Eisenhauer used this relationship to his advantage to abduct the 13-year-old and then kill her. Keepers helped Eisenhauer dispose of Nicole’s body.”
Although he was identified as a suspect before Lovell’s body was found, authorities said Eisenhauer did not confess to the crime or disclose the location of the teen’s remains.
According to reports, David Edmond Eisenhauer was a freshman engineering student who was an avid sportsman.
“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.”
It is unclear whether either Eisenhauer or Keepers had criminal records or notable behavioral issues prior to Nicole Madison Lovell’s gruesome death.
Speaking on behalf of the entire school community, Virginia Tech president Tim Sands offered Nicole’s family and friends condolences. It was noted that hundreds of Virginia Tech students joined the search for the missing teen and were “in a state of shock and sadness” when she was found dead.
Virginia State Police spokeswoman Corinne Geller confirmed Nicole’s death is still under investigation. In addition to interviewing potential witnesses, divers are searching a pond at the Virginia-Maryland College of Veterinary Medicine. Crews are also searching a baseball field near Duck Pond Drive and Southgate Drive.
Nicole Madison Lovell’s disappearance and death touched the entire community of Blacksburg, Virginia. However, it is specifically disturbing that she was killed by two other teens. Authorities have not confirmed the cause of death, but an autopsy is scheduled for Sunday.