In an unexpected development, police announced on January 31 that a second engineering student from Virginia Tech has been arrested in connection with the murder of 13-year-old Nicole Madison Lovell who disappeared from her Blacksburg, Virginia, home on the evening of January 27. Lt. Mike Albert of the Blacksburg Police Department said today that 19-year-old Natalie Marie Keepers of Laurel, Maryland, is in custody and facing felony charges “for helping to dispose of the remains of Nicole Madison Lovell, whose body was found just across the North Carolina border in Surry County,” according to The Washington Post.
On Saturday, 18-year-old David E. Eisenhauer of Columbia, Maryland, a freshman majoring in engineering at Virginia Tech, was arrested and charged with Nicole’s first degree murder. Acting on tips received from the public and through social media, police had already arrested Eisenhauer at his Virginia Tech campus residence and charged him with Nicole’s felony abduction. After Nicole’s lifeless body was found about 100 miles away from her home, police added the charge of first degree murder, according to CNN.
Police arrested Keepers today at her off campus Virginia Tech residence. Keepers was charged with a misdemeanor accessory role in helping dispose of Lovell’s body after Eisenhauer allegedly abducted and murdered her. Blacksburg police say that specifically, Keepers is looking at charges of “improper disposal of a body and accessory after the fact in the commission of a felony,” according to ABC News.
Eisenhauer was also a member of Virginia Tech’s cross country team and has since been suspended from the university. Richmond.com quoted Virginia Tech spokesperson Tracy Vosburgh as saying “In the case of a felony arrest, the university has the authority to place a student on immediate interim suspension.”
CNN quoted Blacksburg Police Chief Anthony Wilson as saying that “The speed at which this investigation has moved today has been nothing less than incredible. We owe that to the outpouring of support and tips from the Blacksburg, Christansburg and Montgomery County communities.”
Wilson added that after his office was able to determine the approximate location of Nicole’s remains he secured the aid of Virginia State Police to search the area. Nicole’s body was found “just inside the North Carolina border on Route 89 in Surry County,” according to a quote from CNN.
Police have not released a motive for Nicole’s abduction or murder. They also have not revealed her cause of death. Eisenhauer and Keepers are both being held in a Montgomery County, Virginia, jail with no bond. For more on this story, see the video accompanying this article.