Ex-Virginia Tech Students Indicted in Girl's Murder
Trials in disturbing case set for March next year
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Jul 27, 2016 3:00 AM CDT
Updated Jul 27, 2016 5:44 AM CDT
This photo provided by the Blacksburg Police Department shows David Eisenhauer.   (Blacksburg Police Department via AP, File)
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(Newser) – Two former Virginia Tech students were indicted by a grand jury Tuesday in one of the year's most shocking murder cases. David Eisenhauer and Natalie Keepers, both 19, are accused of plotting to kill 13-year-old Nicole Lovell and could be sentenced to life in prison without parole when their cases go to trial next March, the Washington Post reports. Prosecutors haven't said why the freshmen engineering majors would have wanted to kill the teen, though law enforcement sources have told the Post that Eisenhauer had an inappropriate relationship with Nicole, a liver transplant recipient whose disappearance on Jan. 27 this year led to a frantic search because she didn't have her medication, NBC News notes.

Eisenhauer, who allegedly slit the girl's throat after she sneaked out of her house to meet him, was indicted on charges of kidnapping and first-degree murder, as well as a fresh charge of concealing a body, WDBJ reports. Keepers, who has told investigators she was not present when Nicole was murdered, was indicted on charges of concealment and being an accessory before the fact. Prosecutors say they're unable to pursue the death penalty against Eisenhauer because there's no evidence that he had sexual contact with the girl on the day of the kidnapping, the AP reports. (Police have described Eisenhauer as a "sociopath" and Keepers as a "sociopath in training.")