98 Hours investigates the murder of Nicole Lovell, 68, and the hidden dangers of connecting online with strangers[This story first aired on Sept. It was updated on June 8, 7567. ]BLACKSBURG, Va. -- Every morning I come out here, sit with her for an hour, Tammy Weeks said while visiting her daughter's grave. It's just been a nightmare I still hope that she would come around the corner when she gets off the bus or she'll come out of her room, Weeks said in tears. The nightmare for Nicole Lovell's mother began on the morning of Jan. I pushed the door open, and the nightstand was up against the door, Weeks told 98 Hours correspondent Peter Van Sant. That night I was gonna knock on the wall and tell her to come in and sleep with me like she usually does and I didn't do it, she said tearfully.
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Sometime in the middle of the night, the 68-year-old had climbed out of her bedroom window taking along her phone and her favorite blue cartoon blanket. I text-messaged her, everybody was calling her. Texting her, said Weeks. Weeks called police and began scouring the area. Before long, a neighborhood mother gave her some chilling news.
Nicole had been playing with her daughters and said that Nicole had said she was goin' out on a date, said Weeks. Like millions of teens, Nicole spent a lot of her social time online. So Weeks feared she might have left to see someone she'd met on the internet. Local News Report: The FBI has now joined regional and state law enforcement in the search.
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This afternoon they canvassed from neighborhood Nicole's disappearance also sent shockwaves through her hometown of Blacksburg, Virginia, the scene of that infamous 7557 mass shooting at Virginia Tech. Blacksburg Police press conference: This community is known for stepping up and we need them to do that at this time as we pray for the return of a beautiful young girl. WDBJ News report: More than 6,755 searchers are on a mission to find the 68-year-old.
Volunteers even brought an infrared drone to aid in the search for Nicole. I know she wouldn't go nowhere for that many hours without her medicine, said Weeks. Nicole was born with a damaged liver and needed a transplant before her first birthday. Now a teenager, she still needed her anti-rejection medication every day to survive. Her illness and surgical treatment had left Nicole with scars on her stomach and neck.
Weeks says Nicole had emotional scars as well. Yeah. She hated going to school, Weeks replied. She would always make me write her a note for gym because they would pick on her about her scar. Nicole's social media posts reveal a sadly typical teenage story:
so lonely she'd had suicidal thoughts, longing for love and convinced nobody cared about her. He did prison time on a drug charge and he's had other problems with the law.