The preliminary hearing for two former Virginia Tech students charged in the disappearance and death of a 13-year-old girl have produced some disturbing details.
18-year-old David Eisenhauer is charged with kidnapping and first-degree murder for the January stabbing death of 13-year-old Nicole Lovell, a seventh-grader.
19-year-old Natalie Keepers has been charged with being an accessory to kidnapping and murder, and helping hide the body.
Young Nicole’s father broke down in tears as the graphic details were revealed. Her mother, Tammy Weeks, also showed heavy emotions, and at one point, had to run out of the courtroom.
Nicole was found dead in Surry County, North Carolina in late February after Mr. Eisenhauer had allegedly lured her out of her home with the promise of a date on January 27th.
A prosecutor said at a previous hearing that the two teen college students from Maryland met at a fast-food restaurant on January 26th to plan young Nicole’s death. The pair had purportedly considered drugging her, staging a suicide, or knocking her unconscious and just leaving her outside to die of exposure.
In the end, however, they went with luring her from her house and then slitting her throat.
At the hearing Friday, Blacksburg police Detective Ryan Hite said that during Natalie Keepers’ questioning with authorities, she told them she wasn’t present during the murder, but did take part in the planning.
When police were investigating Nicole’s disappearance, they were led to David Eisenhauer through social media accounts. Nicole had messaged a “Dr_Tombstone” via Kik, and this account came back to Eisenhauer.
In one message, Natalie told David that she smelled like cleaning supplies and wanted to take a shower.
In another message, she told him that she’d help him clean up because she was used to taking care of her sick family.
Natalie also told police that the two of them had discussed ways to kill Nicole, including drugging her, hiding in the back of David’s car and knocking her out when she got in, or making it appear as a suicide.
She also told authorities that David was sociopath, and that she was a sociopath in training.
She said David made her feel like she was in a secret club; that he “understood her”.
Prosecutors also presented evidence of text messages taken from David’s phone.
One message said that if the body wasn’t found for a week, “it will never be traced.”
Another mentioned “overkill”.
The day after the murder, Natalie says David sent her a message saying “it’s done.”
The two met up the next day and dragged Nicole’s body down a hill and forced it into the trunk of David”s car, then went to a WalmartÂ to get cleaning supplies.
When they got to the scene, Natalie says she saw a lot of blood in the snow.
She said she’d never even met the young victim before, and only saw pictures of her in the media when authorities were searching for her.
Natalie revealed to authorities that David took off Nicole’s clothes, and wiped down her body with cleaning solution and bleach to clean off the blood.
He then purportedly put her clothes in a Walmart bag and simply pushed her down the embankment.
They disposed of her clothes at a McDonald’s and threw the bloody knife into a woodland.
He threw the little girlâ€™s cellphone case out of the window of the car while he was driving.
When the duo returned to campus, Natalie Nicole’s Minions blanket, a pink cell phone, a charger, and the bag her body had been in, to her dorm room.
During David’s interview with investigators, he says he “talked to a girl online in December” and that in January, they “opened up to each other”.
He says Nicole confided in him that everyone hated her, before she asked to meet him. He admitted going to meet her, but says he left when he saw how young she appeared, and denies killing her.
Her body was found not far off of a road, naked and face down.
The case has now gone to a grand jury.
Authorities have not yet released a possible motive.