Va. slaying suspect was 'outstanding' track star, had bright future ahead of him

FOX 5's Alexandra Limon reports.

- We are learning more about the personal lives of the two Virginia Tech students charged in the death of a 13-year-old girl.

Both suspects attended high school in Howard County in Maryland.

The prime suspect, David Eisenhauer, was a track star at Wilde Lake High School in Columbia. He was named the Howard County Boy’s Indoor Track Athlete of the Year in 2015. He went off to college to study engineering and ran on Virginia Tech's track team. By all accounts, he had a bright future ahead of him.

“A very pleasant young man, but very goal driven,” said Wilde Lake principal James LeMon. “He focused on his academics, but he was also very focused on running. He was an outstanding runner.”

“He was quiet, he kept to himself,” said junior student Emily Lheureux. “He had a good group of friends, but other than that, he just kept to himself.”

But a lot has changed. On Saturday, the 18-year-old was arrested and charged with the kidnapping and first-degree murder of Nicole Lovell, a 13-year-old girl from Blacksburg, Virginia.

“Everyone is just kind of shocked,” said Lheureux. “They didn't think he was capable of something like that because he was quiet. No one really thought he would do anything like that.”

A second Virginia Tech student was arrested on Sunday. Natalie Keepers, also an engineering major, was charged with transporting or concealing a dead body and accessory after the fact. The 19-year-old is from Laurel, Maryland, and attended Hammond High School in Columbia.

Her neighbors back home in Laurel were shocked to learn of her alleged involvement.

“It's not something you expect in your average run of the mill neighborhood,” said Lee Correll. “I haven't had a lot of interaction with her and I obviously haven't seen her for a little while, but it is sort of surprising to say the least.”

Hammond High School Principal Marcia Leonard said Keepers was involved with the theater program and literary magazine at the school.

Details are also emerging about the young victim who was apparently troubled. Her mother told the Washington Post Lovell was bullied at school and on social media because of her looks.

But the biggest questions are still unanswered. Why was she killed? And how did the Eisenhauer meet the 13-year-old girl?

It could be some time before we learn the results of an autopsy that was scheduled on Monday. Investigators have been tight lipped about the details of Lovell’s murder. But according to court documents, a gun was not used in the crime.

Both Eisenhauer and Keepers were arraigned Monday morning and remain in jail without bond.

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