BLACKSBURG, Va. (WTVD) --A prosecutor said Tuesday the investigation into the disappearance of 13-year-old Nicole Lovell shows she was stabbed to death on the day she disappeared. Her body was later found in North Carolina and two Virginia Tech students are charged in the case.
Commonwealth's Attorney Mary Pettitt said Tuesday during a news conference that the investigation shows that Lovell died on Wednesday, Jan. 27.
David Eisenhauer, 18, and Natalie Keepers, 19, were arraigned Monday morning and have had their preliminary hearings set for late March. Neither has entered a plea.
Eisenhauer is charged with murder. The prosecutor said Keepers will have her charge changed from accessory after the fact to accessory before the fact.
The prosecutor did not explain why the change was being made or give a motive for the slaying. She did not take questions.
Before the prosecutor spoke, Nicole's mother Tammy Weeks talked about her daughter, saying she had survived various health ailments during her young life.
She says her daughter had a passion for pandas, music and dreamed of being on the television show "American Idol." She became choked up and had to step away from the podium before she could finish reading a statement.
"Her favorite color was blue. Nicole was a very lovable person. Nicole touched many people throughout her short life," Weeks read from a statement. Her cries grew, and an official ushered her away.
Lawyers for the students have declined to comment.
The arrests of the two ambitious and focused students shocked people who knew them in Maryland, where they attended nearby high schools. Neither had prior criminal records, police said.
"We had no reason to think he would be unsuccessful in his goals because he was very focused," said Principal James LeMon at Wilde Lake High School, where Eisenhauer graduated last year.
Eisenhauer, named Boys Indoor Track Performer of the Year by The Baltimore Sun last March, chose Virginia Tech to pursue engineering while competing with the Hokies' top college runners, LeMon said.
Keepers interned at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center, led science experiments at her church's Bible school and hoped to build a future in aerospace or ocean engineering, her online resume said.
"It's just very, very surprising," said her principal, Marcia Leonard at Hammond High School.
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