Skip to Content

Two Virginia Tech Students Charged in 13-Year-Old’s Death

Photo Courtesy of ABC News

Photo Courtesy of ABC News

Two Virginia Tech students were arrested over the weekend in connection with the abduction and death of a 13-year-girl whose remains were found on Saturday, school and law enforcement officials said.

Natalie M. Keepers, 19, was arrested Sunday and charged with improper disposal of a body and accessory after the fact in the commission of a felony, said the police in Blacksburg, Va., the location of Virginia Tech. Ms. Keepers, a sophomore engineering student from Laurel, Md., was being held without bond at the Montgomery County, Va., jail, the police said.

The police said Ms. Keepers had helped dispose of the body of the girl, Nicole Madison Lovell, who disappeared from her home in Blacksburg on Wednesday. The girl’s remains were discovered on Saturday off Route 89 in Surry County, N.C., about 100 miles from Blacksburg and just over the Virginia border, according to the police. The medical examiner in Roanoke, Va., was conducting an autopsy on Sunday.

The investigation had led investigators to another student on Friday. The police said the student, David Eisenhauer, 18, was arrested at his dormitory the next day and charged with abduction and murder. Mr. Eisenhauer, a freshman engineering student from Columbia, Md., was also being held without bond at the Montgomery County jail, officials said.

“Based on the evidence collected to date, investigators have determined that Eisenhauer and Nicole were acquainted prior to her disappearance,” the police said in a statement.

Investigators were trying to reconstruct the timeline of events leading to Nicole’s death and were looking for a motive, the Blacksburg police chief, Anthony Wilson, said. They were also trying to figure out the nature of the relationship between the victim and Mr. Eisenhauer.

Ms. Keepers attended Hammond High School, also in Columbia, where she was active in theater, according to her Facebook profile.

A missing person flier that was circulated on social media after Nicole’s disappearance described a scar on her neck from a tracheotomy and said she had required medication after receiving a liver transplant.

Mr. Eisenhauer, a cross-country runner, was named the Howard County Times/Columbia Flier boys’ indoor track athlete of the year in 2015 after finishing third in a county invitational, according to a profile in The Baltimore Sun. He graduated from Wilde Lake High School in Columbia after moving from Yakima, Wash., and winning two races at the Maryland state championships, according to the article.

Officials at Virginia Tech said in a statement that the school would assist the law enforcement investigation in “any way it can.” In an open letter to the campus on Saturday, the university’s president, Tim Sands, said that the case “has everyone in a state of shock and sadness,” and that “our hearts go out to Nicole’s family and friends.”