One of the two Virginia Tech freshmen facing charges in connection with the death of 13-year-old Nicole Lovell will not be released on bail, a judge ruled Thursday.
The judge didn’t find any of Natalie Keeper’s arguments for bail compelling, and said that she no longer has any ties to the community. “The one tie she has, has been severed,” the judge said.
Keepers, 19, appeared in court in Blacksburg, flanked by her attorneys. She wore a burnt orange jumpsuit with the letters WVRJ written on the back, and had her hands shackled to her waist.
Keepers is accused of helping dispose of Nicole’s body and faces charges of being an accessory to murder before the fact, concealing a body and being an accessory to murder after the fact. Fellow freshman David Eisenhauer, 18, faces abduction and murder charges in the case.
Tammy Weeks, Nicole Lovell’s mother, entered the Montgomery County courthouse an hour before the hearing, surrounded by family members and a police escort. Keepers’ attorneys, Kris Olin and John Robertson, followed. Neither party spoke to reporters outside the courthouse.
Nicole disappeared early on January 27, spurring an extensive search that led to the discovery of her body three days later in a wooded area in North Carolina.
No date has been set for Eisenhauer’s bail hearing. His court-appointed attorney has not responded to CNN requests for comment.
Investigators believe Eisenhauer had an inappropriate relationship with the middle-school student, a law enforcement official said. The 13-year-old was planning to expose their relationship, the official said, and investigators believe he stabbed her to prevent that.
Eisenhauer did not lead authorities to the body, according to Blacksburg police Chief Anthony Wilson, nor did he confess to murder. Still, authorities managed to piece things together after sorting through social media, exploring 300-plus tips and searching for other information pertinent to the case.
A spokesman for Kik, an app that allows users to send anonymous messages, told CNN on Tuesday that it had cooperated with an FBI investigation into the case.