A Virginia Tech freshman was charged with murder Saturday night after the body of a 13-year-old girl who disappeared from her home was found in North Carolina, said police in Blacksburg, Virginia.
Nicole Madison Lovell was last seen between 7 p.m. and midnight on Wednesday, police said. The family found a dresser pushed against the girl’s bedroom door and said the middle-school student probably climbed out the apartment window, according to the Roanoke Times.
The family was extremely worried because Lovell required daily prescription medication for a liver transplant and didn’t carry the medicine with her, police said.
The search ended Saturday afternoon when Lovell’s body was found about 100 miles away from home, Blacksburg police Chief Anthony Wilson said at a press briefing.
Freshman engineering major arrested
“We were able to determine an approximate area where she might be found,” he said. “Virginia State Police were dispatched to the general area at approximately 4 this afternoon, and she was located just inside the North Carolina border on Route 89 in Surry County.”
David E. Eisenhauer, 18, of Columbia, Maryland, was already in custody. He was arrested early Saturday morning and charged with felony abduction in the case, police said. Police said they acted on tips and social media to identify Eisenhauer.
On Saturday night, after the body was found, he was charged with murder. He’s being held in the Montgomery County, Virginia, jail without bond, Wilson said.
He is a freshman engineering major and has been a member of the Virginia Tech cross country team, the Roanoke Times reported. The university said he’s been suspended.
Police didn’t give a motive or say how Lovell died.
‘Very wounded folks’
The disappearance had gripped the picturesque town of about 40,000 people where the university is located.
Police, the family and members of the Virginia Tech Corps of Cadets searched for the girl, according to a statement from the school. Wilson said Lovell’s body will be returned for an autopsy and authorities will work to reconstruct a timeline leading up to her death.
The university issued a statement saying, “The entire Virginia Tech community extends its support to Nichole’s family and friends. 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 several days.”
Wilson said the Blacksburg community is reeling from the girl’s death.
“We have some very wounded folks in this community and and please show them some respect,” he said to reporters. “We will continue to be very transparent with you during this investigation but please remember these are the kinds of crimes that rip communities apart.”