Authorities Detail the Plot to Murder Nicole Lovell

Suspects planned everything out, they say
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 4, 2016 3:01 PM CST

(Newser) – Virginia authorities have released disturbing details of the kidnapping and killing of 13-year-old Nicole Lovell, the AP reports. Suspects David Eisenhauer and Natalie Keepers planned the crime, they said Thursday, deciding together that Eisenhauer would cut Lovell's throat at a remote location they pre-selected, and going to separate Walmart stores to buy a shovel and cleaning supplies. According to the commonwealth prosecutor, Keepers, 19, told FBI investigators that she "was excited to be part of something secretive and special," and admitted to going with Eisenhauer, 18, to buy the shovel before the alleged murder and the cleaning supplies after, while Lovell's body was in the trunk of Eisenhauer's Lexus. The prosecutor says Keepers told police where Lovell's body was and where to find the cleaning supplies and a Minions blanket of Lovell's in Keepers' dorm room, ABC News reports. Authorities say the duo planned for Eisenhauer to "lure" Lovell away from home "on the guise of a date," according to the Roanoke Times.

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But Keepers insists she wasn't present at the actual murder, and says she's long struggled with her mental health and self-mutilation. The relationship between her and Eisenhauer isn't entirely clear; they went to high schools five miles apart in Columbia, Maryland, and then both attended Virginia Tech. Keepers' dad says they just learned about Eisenhauer in October, and that he "dropped everything" last year to rush Keepers to the hospital when she needed an emergency appendectomy. As for Lovell, she's said to have used social media to escape the bullying she experienced in seventh grade, including Kik Messenger, an app on which she apparently met Eisenhauer. She told 8-year-old friends she was going to sneak out to meet "David," her 18-year-old "boyfriend." Eisenhauer initially denied all involvement, but ultimately admitted he watched Lovell climb out her window, gave her a side hug, and brought her to Keepers. (Read more Virginia stories.)

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