Court documents shed new light on AJ Hadsell investigation

Posted at 2:11 PM, Mar 01, 2018
and last updated 2018-03-01 23:18:09-05

NORFOLK, Va. - Court documents refer to the AJ Hadsell case as a "homicide investigation," but police still aren't confirming exactly what type of investigation they're doing as the third anniversary of her disappearance approaches.

The recently unsealed search warrant from February 2016 discusses how investigators spoke with an inmate at Western Tidewater Regional Jail named Amin Garcia, who said he had heard a "third party confession" in the case. News 3 reported in March 2016 that Garcia was attempting to talk to investigators.

Wesley Hadsell, AJ's stepfather, served time at Western Tidewater Regional Jail when he faced a federal ammunition charge.  He has never been charged with anything related to AJ's death. "I want police to do their job and stop focusing on me with these charges to get me out of the way," Hadsell told News 3 from jail in 2016.

The search warrant doesn't say who told Garcia about the confession, but that he heard it in "Cell Block A2" at Western Tidewater Regional Jail. The search warrant requests inmate records and says Garcia "stands to gain nothing by providing false information concerning the investigation."  Garcia is serving a life sentence on rape charges.

"There is no new information we can release regarding this open and active investigation," said Norfolk Police Dept. Public Information Officer Daniel Hudson on Thursday. When asked whether the case is considered a homicide investigation, Hudson said the department is working with the Southampton County Sheriff's Office to determine classification.

Friday marks three years since AJ Hadsell disappeared. Investigators found her body about a month later behind an abandoned house in Southampton County. The Medical Examiner later said she died from acute heroin poisoning. The newly unsealed search warrant says Wesley was "likely the last person to see Ms. Hadsell alive." Other court documents say investigators used GPS data from Wesley's work van to find her body.

Wesley is currently in jail in Delaware, Ohio. He faces rape, kidnapping, and assault charges from an incident in 2005. He's currently appealing a judge's ruling to not dismiss the case, court records show.