By SARAH GRAMMER
The community of Virginia Tech was shaken last week when they learned that two of their own have been accused in the murder of 13-year-old Nicole Madison Lovell. Freshman cross country star, David Eisenhauser, 18, is suspected to have abducted and murdered Lovell.
Fellow Virginia Tech student, 19-year-old Natalie Keepers, of Laurel, Maryland, is charged with helping to dispose of Lovell’s body and a charge of accessory before the fact to first-degree murder, according to a report in The Washington Post. This charge alleges that Keepers may have been involved with the events that led to Lovell’s killing, according to The WashingtonPost.
Lovell was last seen alive on Wednesday, Jan. 27, having climbed out of her bedroom window to meet Eisenhauser. Her body was not found until Saturday, Jan. 30, in Surrey County, North Carolina.
According to a preliminary investigation, Lovell had been stabbed to death, according to a report in The Washington Post.
Tammy Weeks, Lovell’s mother, spoke at a news conference yesterday detailing the events of Lovell’s murder. Lovell had struggled with health problems, according to Weeks, having survived a liver transplant and non-Hodkin’s lymphoma. Nicole, called “Coley” by Weeks, said that “Nicole touched many people through her short life,” according to a report in The
Washington Post. Becoming overcome with emotion, Weeks could not continue the conference. Students in the Virginia Tech community are shocked to learn that two people that attended their school could be involved in such a terrible crime.
Students of the UMW community share in the shock, such as freshman Sierra Tisdelle, who just learned about the incident over the weekend. Similar statements are being heard from the entire UMW community as well as their reactions to the news.
“Upon first hearing this I was a little freaked out because I have a friend at Virginia Tech,” Tisdelle said. “The news really made me really think about the safety of students on a college campus in general.”
Students are uneasy about the idea of being friends with someone who could commit such a horrific crime, but not all students are focusing how this event specifically affects students. Some UMW students such as senior English major with a concentration in creative writing, Anna Knott, think this event says a lot about young teenagers and how they handle online relationships.
“I was just sad,” Knott said, upon hearing the news of the murder. “My roommates and I were talking about how it is sad that it happened and that kids in this day and age still don’t understand the dangers of that [meeting strangers online].”
Knott did briefly touch on how students at Virginia Tech must be feeling right now, though she does not seem to think their safety is what was at risk.
“Considering everything from the past years,” Knott said, referencing the Virginia Tech shooting in 2007, “I’m sure that they [the students] are really hurt by it, and upset with the impact this will have on the school’s name.”
At this point there has been an autopsy performed to determine Lovell’s cause of death. The results of this autopsy won’t be released until March 28 when the suspects have their preliminary hearings in juvenile court.