(BLACKSBURG, Va.) — A 13-year-old girl allegedly abducted and killed by a Virginia Tech student was stabbed to death, according to preliminary results, Montgomery County Commonwealth’s Attorney Mary Pettitt said at a news conference Tuesday.
A formal report of the cause of death has not yet been completed, Pettitt said.
Nicole Lovell, 13, of Blacksburg, Virginia — the city where Virginia Tech is located — went missing Jan. 27, the Blacksburg Police Department said. Her body was found on Saturday in Surry County, North Carolina, which is near the Virginia border, police said.
Investigators are working to reconstruct the timeline of both suspects, Chief Anthony Wilson of the Blacksburg Police Department said at a news conference Tuesday afternoon.
Virginia Tech student David Eisenhauer, 18, was charged Saturday with first-degree murder and one felony count of abduction, police said.
Virginia Tech student Natalie Keepers, 19, was charged Tuesday with being an accessory before the fact to first-degree murder, officials said. That charge carries a term of from 20 years to life in prison. She’s also charged with concealing a body and being an accessory after the fact, which carry a maximum of 10 years and 12 months in jail respectively.
The police said investigators looking into Nicole’s disappearance were led to Eisenhauer on Friday night. Eisenhauer was first charged on Saturday with one felony count of abduction, police said. Then after Nicole’s body was found Saturday afternoon, he was also charged with murder, police said.
Eisenhauer and Nicole “were acquainted prior to her disappearance,” police said this weekend. “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.”
Eisenhauer’s attorney, Chris Tuck, and Keepers’ attorney, Kristopher Olin, could not be immediately reached by ABC News Tuesday for comment.
Eisenhauer, who is from Columbia, Maryland, ran cross country at Virginia Tech, and in 2015, while still in high school, he was named the Howard County, Maryland, indoor track Athlete of the Year, according to the Baltimore Sun.
Eisenhauer was a senior in high school in March 2015 when he was featured as a “Student Athlete of the Week” on ABC News affiliate WMAR-TV in Baltimore.
“I just have this internal thing saying I want to be the best. There’s no reason why I cannot be as good as other people are,” Eisenhauer told WMAR-TV at the time. “I will personally not stop until I reach my peak performance which could be anywhere.”
Eisenhauer told WMAR-TV he wanted to run track in college and wanted “to get as many years out of it as I can. … and I want to run for a school that has a good distance program or one that I feel that I will fit in with and excel.”
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