Prosecutor: Slain Virginia girl died of stabbing

In this 2015 photo provided by Tammy Weeks, her daughter, Nicole Lovell, flashes a peace sign in Blacksburg, Va. The 13-year-old girl was found dead just across the state line in Surry County, N.C., and two Virginia Tech students are charged in the case. (Tammy Weeks via AP)

BLACKSBURG, Va. (AP) – A prosecutor says a preliminary investigation shows that a 13-year-old Virginia girl died of a stabbing on the same day she disappeared from her home.

Commonwealth’s Attorney Mary Pettitt said Tuesday during a news conference that the investigation shows that Nicole Lovell died on Wednesday, Jan. 27. Two Virginia Tech students have been charged in her death. The prosecutor says one of them, Natalie Keepers, will have her charge changed from accessory after the fact to accessory before the fact.

The prosecutor did not explain why the change was being made or give a motive for the slaying. She did not take questions.

Before the prosecutor spoke, Nicole’s mother talked about her daughter, saying she had survived various health ailments during her young life.

She says her daughter had a passion for pandas, music and dreamed of being on the television show “American Idol.” She became choked up and had to step away from the podium before she could finish reading a statement.

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