Nicole Lovell: Natalie Keepers Admitted to Investigators She Planned the MurderBy Russell Westerholm, UniversityHerald Reporter
One of the Virginia Tech students charged in the murder of Nicole Lovell, 13, admitted to committing the crime when talking to federal investigators.
Natalie Keepers, a 19-year-old engineering student at Virginia Tech, appeared at a bail hearing in Blacksburg, Va., The Associated Press reported. Charged with being an accessory to first-degree murder before and after the fact, as well as improper disposal of a body, Keepers was denied bail.
During the hearing, Montgomery County Commonwealth Attorney Mary Pettitt stated Keepers not only admitted to being part of the plot to kill Lovell, but told investigators where to find the girl's body and key pieces of evidence, ABC News reported. Pettitt said Keepers told the FBI where a blanket Lovell had at the time of her abduction was.
Pettitt also revealed how Keepers told investigators she and David Eisenhauer, an 18-year-old engineering student at Virginia Tech, bought a shovel and cleaning supplies together while Lovell was dead in his car.
Lovell first went missing from her home in Blacksburg last Wednesday and her body was found in North Carolina the following Saturday. Eisenhauer was arrested that day and Keepers the day after. Police initially charged Keepers with improper disposal and accessory after the fact before upgrading her charges Tuesday.
It was at that Tuesday news conference where Pettitt revealed "preliminary tests" indicated Lovell died from being stabbed. Though police still seem to think Eisenhauer fatally stabbed Lovell after meeting her online, the accessory before the fact charge for Keepers means both face a maximum sentence of life in prison.
Keepers' relationship with Eisenhauer still remains a mystery. They had similar areas of study at Virginia Tech and went to high schools in neighboring towns in Maryland, but did not appear to know each other then.
Keepers' father testified Thursday and said his daughter had an appendectomy in the fall and it was Eisenhauer who took her to the hospital, The AP reported. Keepers' father also testified that his daughter suffers from anxiety and has self-mutilated since the eighth grade.