Community gathers to honor slain teen, Nicole Lovell

Community gathers to honor slain teen, Nicole Lovell

BLACKSBURG, VA (WWBT) - Friends and family of slain teen, Nicole Lovell, honored her life with a vigil in Blacksburg Monday night.

The 13-year-old was potentially lured to her death on social media.

The accused are two Virginia Tech students, 18-year-old David Eisenhauer and 19-year-old Natalie Keepers. They're charged after allegedly plotting out how to kill Nicole.

The girl's last known message on social media was reportedly to an account registered to Eisenhauer.

Blue was a common theme at the vigil with ribbons handed out and lights on College Avenue lit just for her.

"As I stand here tonight, my family and I are broken. My daughter Coley lit up our lives," said Nicole's mother, Tammy Weeks.

Weeks fought back tears as she thanked the community for their support and spoke about her slain daughter.

"I miss her smile. I miss her laugh, her voice. I miss her hugs and kisses. Oh God, I miss you, Coley."

She was the last of several speakers who addressed a large crowd gathered along College Avenue in Nicole's honor.

"We remember Nicole as a sweet girl with a beauty that shined from within," said Blacksburg Middle School principal, Amanda Weidner.

"We take her name and build something so positive that evil can never penetrate it," said Blacksburg police chief, Anthony Wilson.

They all came out with candles lit even as the temperatures dropped and the snow began to fall. Posters were held high, a hymn was sung with passion, and mournful heads bowed for a moment of silence.

"I was sad at first, but I'm more angry now," said Nicole's friend, Natalie Cole.

Cole was one in the crowd with a special tie to Nicole.

"We had that emotion where we knew we were going to be best friends," said Cole.

Best friends since the day the two 13-year-olds met a year ago, Cole still has trouble believing her kindred spirit is gone.

"At first, I didn't believe it. I thought it was a dream, but then when I found out it was reality, I started crying," said Cole.

Organizer Claire Kelling of the community group "Womanspace" hopes the vigil sets the stage for a much brighter future.

"If we can do something like this to have one less parent get that news, then that's what my goal is here," said Kelling.

The vigil's now over, the candles were blown out, but Nicole's family is just hoping that her legacy lives on.

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