Natalie Keepers, Charged in 13-Year-Old Nicole Lovell's Murder, Says Virginia Tech Counselor Ended Her Therapy

Kimberly RipleyLife

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Natalie Keepers, one of two Virginia Tech students charged in the murder of 13-year-old Nicole Lovell, says a counselor at her college ended her therapy in December.

A longtime target of bullying, Natalie Keepers thought of suicide in middle school. She cut herself in an attempt to ease her pain. In high school, however, a combination of medication and therapy helped her cope.

When she entered college at Virginia Tech this past fall, Natalie Keepers started seeing a school counselor. In December that counselor told her she no longer needed therapy.

Just two months later, Natalie Keepers and David Eisenhauer--a fellow Virginia Tech student, sat at a fast food restaurant and allegedly plotted the murder of the 13-year-old girl.

This isn't the first time Virginia Tech's Cook Counseling Center has come under question. Nine years ago, another Virginia Tech student named Seung-Hui Cho killed 32 people on the school's campus before killing himself. The counseling center was faulted for missing specific warning signs that most deem obvious.

Natalie Keepers' father, Tim Keepers, addressed the court in recent days, speaking of his daughter's emotional frailty. He said just the idea of lots of homework could throw her into a panic attack. He added she had never been in trouble, and described her as part of a "pretty close, very strong Christian family."

Nicole Lovell was a middle school student who endured much bullying--like Natalie Keepers. In addition she had survived cancer and a liver transplant. Authorities say Nicole met David Eisenhauer online and the two began an inappropriate relationship. Eisenhauer allegedly lured the teen out of her home to kill her.

Natalie Keepers admitted she was part of the plot. She helped pick a spot in some woods in North Carolina where she allegedly helped Eisenhauer dump Lovell's body.

Keepers is charged with accessory before the fact to first-degree murder, accessory after the fact, and concealing a body.

Natalie Keepers initially sought treatment at the Virginia Tech counseling center in August, citing problems adjusting to college life.

Is it possible a counselor might have recognized symptoms in Natalie Keepers had she continued her therapy sessions? Could the murder of Nicole Lovell have been prevented?

It is likely a thorough investigation of the counseling practices at Virginia Tech will take place as a result of this heinous crime.

Kimberly Ripley
Kimberly Ripley is a freelance writer and published author from Portsmouth, New Hampshire. A wife, mom of five and 'Nana' to Lilly and Aiden, she loves cooking for her big family and watching HGTV in her spare time. Kim is guilty of starting way more home design projects than she can finish. Visit her at Twitter and Facebook.