The arrest of two Virginia Tech students in the abduction and murder of a 13-year-old girl who posted on a Facebook group called Teen Dating and Flirting has set off new concerns about the dangers to young people who seek liaisons on social media, the New York Times reports. Students David Eisenhauer, 18, of Columbia, Md., and Natalie Keepers, 19, of Laurel, Md., both aspiring engineers,are being held without bond. They are charged in the death of Nicole Madison Lovell, 13, a liver transplant recipient who disappeared from her home last week.
The Times says the murder stunned the college community, though Virginia Tech, the site of a 2007 massacre that was the deadliest shooting by a single gunman in U.S. history, is no stranger to sorrow and tragedy. Stacey Snider, a neighbor of Nicole, said one of her daughters had given law enforcement authorities information that may have played a role in the arrests. The girls were playing in the snow with Nicole hours before her disappearance when, they said, she showed one of them texts she had exchanged through Kik, a mobile instant messaging app, with an 18-year-old that included plans for an evening meeting. Law enforcement officials have raised concerns about the Kik app as a potential vehicle for sexual predators.