Man who helped raise missing Norfolk teen: ‘It just doesn’t seem right’

Posted at 8:43 PM, Apr 09, 2015
and last updated 2015-04-09 23:51:13-04

Norfolk, Va. - A man who says he helped raise missing teen AJ Hadsell spoke only to NewsChannel 3 about the teen’s disappearance and today’s discovery of human remains.

Zach Hoffer said hearing police had found remains on Thursday morning was very upsetting. "I was sad. I cried my eyes out. It just doesn't seem right. Angelica is an awesome kid," he said.

Police haven't confirmed who the remains are and Hoffer says he's holding out hope it's not AJ.  Hoffer was once married to AJ's mother and was in her life until AJ was 13-years-old.

"I don't call her my daughter so much anymore. We've been estranged. But she is my daughter. I raised her and I love her. I always loved her as a daughter," says Hoffer.

Hadsell hasn't been seen since March 2. Hoffer said at first he thought she ran away, but as time grew, his worry got more agonizing. "Every minute of every hour and then it's every day. It's more misery. It's been a horrible experience," he said.

He says he's now hoping for divine intervention." There's been so many prayers and I really believe that God is all over this," he said.

Investigators spent much of the day searching for clues in this case. Neighbors say the home where the remains were found has been empty for years. They say they heard about something strange going on there just a few weeks ago.

"A buddy of mine, about three or four weeks ago seen a newer Dodge caravan, either dark blue or black, go out there late at night and drove through the car port and into the back yard and that seemed very suspicious."

Police have not released any other information about this case.

NewsChannel 3 will continue to post the latest as we find out more.