Police in Virginia arrested a second engineering student Sunday in connection with the death of a 13-year-old girl who was last seen Wednesday. Natalie Keepers’ arrest comes a day after Virginia Tech student David Eisenhauer was taken into custody Saturday and charged with first-degree murder and abduction of Nicole Madison Lovell.
Keepers, a Virginia Tech freshman, was charged with one felony count of improper disposal of the teen’s body and being an accessory to a felony after the fact. Lovell’s body was found Saturday afternoon in Surry County, North Carolina, near the Virginia border, following which Eisenhauer was arrested.
Eisenhauer, 18, and Keepers, 19, were held without bond at the Montgomery County Jail in Blacksburg town. According to police, Eisenhauer and Lovell knew each other before she disappeared.
"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.
Lovell, a liver transplant recipient, went missing last Wednesday without her daily medication, police reportedly said. According to her family, she disappeared after placing a dresser in front of her bedroom door and climbing out of a window, the Associated Press reported. Police are yet to establish a motive behind the teen’s murder whose body has been sent for an autopsy.
Eisenhauer, a native of Columbia, Maryland, is scheduled for arraignment Monday in Montgomery County Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court because the court has jurisdiction over cases involving victims under the age of 18, NBC News reported. He was initially charged with abduction of the teen but was later charged with first-degree murder after Lovell’s remains were found.
"This investigation is far from over," Blacksburg Police Chief Anthony Wilson reportedly said Saturday. He added that investigators will work to determine a timeline of events.
Virginia Tech President Tim Sands issued a statement Saturday after Eisenhauer’s arrest saying that Lovell’s death and the investigation "has everyone in a state of shock and sadness."
"Speaking on behalf of our community, let me say that our hearts go out to Nicole's family and friends," Sands said.