Police make second arrest in death of 13-year old Nicole Lovell

WSLS web staff – BLACKSBURG (WSLS 10) - Blacksburg police have made a second arrest in the disappearance and death of 13-year old Nicole Lovell.

Police announced at a 1PM news conference that they have arrested 19-year old Natalie Marie Keepers of Laurel, MD. She's been charged with one felony count of improper disposal of a body. Keepers is a sophomore Engineering student at Virginia Tech. She was also charged with one misdemeanor of accessory after the fact in the commission of a felony.

WSLS 10's Dawn Jefferies and Rob Manch were in today's news conference. We will update this story as soon as additional information comes in.

Blacksburg police held two news conferences on Saturday. The first Saturday afternoon to announce the arrest of 18-year old David Eisenhauer, a Virginia Tech freshman, on charges of felony abduction in the disappearance of Nicole.

Later Saturday evening, police held a second news conference to announce that they had found her remains in Surry County, North Carolina. Police announced that Eiseenhauer, from Maryland, was charged with first degree murder.

Police found Lovell's body about 4PM Saturday afternoon. They transported her to the medical examiner's office in Roanoke for an autopsy.

During Sunday's news conference police confirmed that Eisenhauer and Lovell knew each other before her disappearance last week. Police say that Eisenhauer used his acquaintancewith Lovell to his advantage to abduct and kill her.

Here's the full news release issued by Blacksburg police:

BLACKSBURG, Va. – Blacksburg Police have made a second arrest in the abduction and murder of Nicole M. Lovell, who went missing from her Blacksburg, Va., residence Jan. 27, 2016. Natalie M. Keepers, 19, is being held without bond at the Montgomery County Jail on one felony count of improper disposal of a dead body (Code of Virginia 18.2-323.02) and one misdemeanor count of accessory after the fact in the commission of a felony (Code of Virginia 18.2-19). Keepers, a Virginia Tech student from Laurel, Md., was arrested Sunday (Jan. 31) morning.

On Saturday afternoon (Jan. 30), the four-day search for the missing 13-year-old Blacksburg girl came to an end. At approximately 4 p.m. Saturday, Virginia State Police located Nicole’s remains near Route 89, in Surry County, N.C. With the assistance of the North Carolina State Bureau of Investigation, FBI Charlotte, N.C., Field Office, and the North Carolina Medical Examiner’s Office, her remains arrived early Sunday morning (Jan. 31) at the Office of the Medical Examiner in Roanoke, Va., for autopsy and examination.

David E. Eisenhauer, 18, is also being held at the Montgomery County Jail without bond. The Columbia, Md., native was arrested Saturday on one felony count of first degree murder and one felony count of abduction.

Based on the evidence collected to date, investigators have determined that Eisenhauer and Nicole were acquainted prior to her disappearance. 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.

The investigation into Nicole’s abduction and death remains very active as investigators continue to pursue roughly 300 leads generated during the course of the past five days. The Blacksburg Police are being assisted in the investigation by the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office, Christiansburg Police, City of Radford Police, Virginia Tech Police, Virginia State Police, ATF and FBI.

Investigators are still encouraging the public to come forward with any information concerning Nicole Lovell, David Eisenhauer and/or, now, Natalie Keepers to contact the Blacksburg Police Department at 540-961-1150.


Lieutenant M.B. Albert