Virginia police have made a second arrest in the alleged abduction and killing of a 13-year-old girl from Blacksburg, Virginia.
Blacksburg police said Natalie Keepers, 19, a Virginia Tech student from Laurel, Maryland, was arrested Sunday and charged with one felony count of improper disposal of a dead body and one misdemeanor count of accessory after the fact.
Nicole Lovell, 13, went missing from her Blacksburg home on Wednesday, Jan. 27, after her family said she pushed a dresser in front of her bedroom door and climbed out a window. Her body was found Saturday afternoon in North Carolina, near the border with Virginia.
David Eisenhauer, 18, a Virginia Tech student from Columbia, Maryland, was arrested Saturday and charged with first-degree murder and abduction. Investigators said Eisenhauer and Lovell knew each other before the girl’s disappearance, and that he used the relationship to abduct and kill Lovell.
Police said Keepers helped Eisenhauer dispose of Lovell’s body near Route 89, in Surry County, North Carolina.
Both Eisenhauer and Keepers are being held without bond at the Montgomery County Jail, in Christiansburg, Virginia.
A state police spokeswoman said officials are searching a pond on the Virginia Tech campus in connection with the death. Spokeswoman Corinne Geller said Sunday that a search and recovery team is combing a pond on the Blacksburg campus. She would not say what they are trying to find.
Investigators said the case is still active, and they have received about 300 leads during the course of the five day investigation. They are still urging anyone who may have information about any of the people involved to come forward.
The Roanoke Times newspaper quoted Wilson as saying that Eisenhauer has not confessed to involvement in Lovell's death and did not give police information that led to the discovery of her body. No information was given on how Lovell and Eisenhauer had initially made contact with each other.
The newspaper cited an online biography of Eisenhauer that described him as a standout track and field athlete in high school. He was a three-time state champion in track and also competed in cross country, finishing second in the state both his junior and senior years. He was a first-team, all-state choice in cross country and a second-team All-Southeast Region selection, the biography stated.
Virginia Tech said on its website that Eisenhauer was a freshman engineering major at the school and that hundreds of students and researchers had assisted in the search for Lovell.
Virginia Tech president Tim Sands said the case left the school community "in a state of shock and sadness."
"Speaking on behalf of our community, let me say that our hearts go out to Nicole's family and friends," he said in a statement posted to the school's website.