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Virginia Tech student charged in death of missing teen

The teen from Virginia who went missing on Wednesday was found dead on Saturday night, police said.

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John Bacon, USA TODAY 11:26 a.m. EST January 31, 2016

David E. Eisenhauer is accused of killing 13-year-old Nicole Madison Lovell of Blacksburg, Virginia. Her body was found about 80 miles away in Surry County, North Carolina. VPC

David E. Eisenhauer(Photo: Blacksburg Police)

The grim death of a 13-year-old girl and arrest of a promising college freshman has cast a pall over the idyllic college town of Blacksburg in the sweeping mountains of western Virginia.

The body of Nicole Madison Lovell, 13, was found late Saturday along a highway in Surry County, N.C., Blacksburg Mayor Ron Rordam said. Surry County is about 80 miles south of Blacksburg, home to Virginia Tech.

Earlier Saturday, police arrested David E. Eisenhauer, 18, for felony abduction in connection with Lovell's disappearance. After Nicole's body was found, Eisenhauer was charged with first degree murder. Eisenhower, a freshman engineering major an member of the cross-country team, was being held without bond pending a hearing.

"This is a sad day for the Blacksburg community," Rordam said. "As a parent, I know that this is an unbearable loss for the Lovell family. And as the mayor, while I know that Blacksburg is a safe community, on occasion the town and the Virginia Tech community have suffered inexplicable tragedies."

Those tragedies include the 2007 campus shooting rampage by Virginia Tech student Seung-Hui Cho that left 32 people dead. A permanent memorial to the victims that day remains on the school's rustic, 2,600-acre campus.

Rordam and Blacksburg Police Chief Anthony Wilson asked the public for help in revealing details of Nicole's death. Wilson said investigators were trying to reconstruct the timeline of Nicole's disappearance and death. He said the FBI, the North Carolina Bureau of Investigation and the North Carolina Medical Examiner were aiding the investigation.

“This has been an extremely fast-paced investigation,” Wilson said. "We still have a great deal to do as there are multiple interviews to conduct and evidence to (be) collected and analyzed."

Nicole went missing in the early hours of Wednesday morning. In a Facebook post, her father, David Lovell, expressed his sorrow.

"I'm so in shock I know nothing more to say," Lovell said. "I'm broken!"

PREVIOUS STORY: Endangered Missing Child Alert for 13-year-old Va. girl

Eisenhauer, of Columbia Md., was a star runner in high school, twice making all-state. After his arrest, his named was dropped from Virginia Tech's roster. The school issued a statement saying the school was assisting law enforcement "in any way it can."

The school police department and Corps of Cadets aided the search for Nicole's body.

"The entire Virginia Tech community extends its support to Nicole’s family and friends," the statement said.

Wilson, in a press conference late Saturday, said Nicole's body was found with the help of tips from law enforcement and social media, The Roanoke Times reported.

"I urge the community to join me in expressing our condolences to the family of Nicole Lovell and remembering them in our prayers," Rordam said.

Contributing: WUSA-TV, Washington, D.C.

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