Nicole Lovell had a relationship with 18-year-old who met the girl online and may have preyed on her insecurities to abduct and kill her, reports from police and family members indicate.
The 13-year-old Lovell was found dead on Saturday night, three days after she went missing from her home in Virginia. The girl’s mother said she climbed out of her bedroom window some time between midnight and 7 a.m. on Wednesday, setting off a region-wide search that drew more than 1,000 law enforcement officials and volunteers.
Police have arrested 18-year-old David Eisenhauer, a freshman at Virginia Tech, on charges of felony abduction and first-degree murder.
Details emerging about the Virginia Tech student and suspect in the kidnapping & murder of Nicole Lovell watch story https://t.co/EiVoj9GuLU
— Alexandra Limon (@AlexandraFox5DC) February 1, 2016
Nicole Lovell’s parents also released more details about their daughter, saying the 13-year-old suffered health issues and bullying. Lovell endured a liver transplant, MRSA, and lymphoma when she was 5, the Chicago Tribune reported.
Nicole’s mother, Tammy Weeks, told The Roanoke Times that her daughter hated going to school because other girls bullied her about her weight and the scars left over from her transplant. Nicole often cried at the thought of going to school, so Weeks said she often let Nicole stay home.
Blacksburg Middle School is mourning the loss of 13-year old 7th grader Nicole Lovell https://t.co/0JzviEEhDA pic.twitter.com/24WgXteLaJ
— Eamon O’Meara (@EamonOMearaTV) February 1, 2016
Police indicated that David Eisenhauer had a previous relationship with Nicole Lovell, and reports from her family hint that he may have used the girl’s insecurities to his advantage in abducting her. Natalie Keepers, a 19-year-old student at Virginia Tech, was also arrested as an accessory after the fact.
“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,” Blacksburg police said in a statement.
It was not yet known exactly how Eisenhauer and Lovell knew each other, but her mother said police told her they likely connected online. Nicole also frequented online dating forums, including one on Facebook.
A group calling itself Children Without Voices, noted on Sunday that the forum Lovell often used had been shut down.
“‘Teen Dating and Flirting’ has been shut down! The page will take a full 24 hours to be removed. Many of you know this is one of the many groups and sites Nicole Lovell was a part of. Our children are in danger when exposed to this type of stuff online. We had personally began to reach out to parents of ‘real children’ in this group. We beg every parent here to please go through your child’s social media, pay attention who’s on their pages (FB, Instagram, KIK) to just name a few and let’s start protecting our children and teaching them right and wrong. It’s ok to be the ‘mean’ parent, they can thank us later.”
Nicole’s mother said she was heartbroken that he girl who had endured such hardship would end up being preyed upon by the suspect.
“God got her through all that, and she fought through all that, and he took her life,” she said. “That evil b—— took her life.”
Eisenhauer was a standout athlete, competing on the cross country team at Virginia Tech. Those who know the 18-year-old said they were shocked at the allegations.
The Baltimore Sun reported the following.
“The serious charges against Eisenhauer came as a shock to James LeMon, principal of Wilde Lake High School, where Eisenhauer graduated in 2015 before enrolling at Virginia Tech to study engineering and run for the Hokies track team.”
“LeMon said it was difficult to reconcile the fact that a talented student and athlete was accused of a terrible crime. This is the first time he’s had to deal with a student he knows charged with a serious crime. Eisenhauer was a ‘typical’ student, he said.”
Police said the plan an autopsy on Nicole Lovell’s body, though prosecutors said the findings will not be in until just before the next court appearance for the suspects, which is in March.
[Images via Blackburg Police Department]