A man was indicted Monday by a Southampton County, Virginia, grand jury in the mysterious 2015 slaying of his 18-year-old adoptive step-daughter, who was found buried in a ditch outside of an abandoned home, according to authorities.
Wesley Paul Hadsell, 40, faces one count each of first-degree murder, second-degree felony murder, and felony concealment of a dead body in the death of 18-year-old Anjelica “AJ” Hadsell, according to 8News.
Several neighbors told 8News the latest development surrounding Wesley Hadsell’s arrest in connection with the murder is stunning.
“She was a beautiful girl. The world lost a sweet soul that day. If he did this, then he needs to pay,” one unidentified neighbor reportedly said.
— Norfolk NewsChannel (@Norfolk_NC) November 20, 2018
The Virginian Pilot reported A.J. Hadsell was at home in Norfolk on spring break from Longwood University when she mysteriously vanished March 2, 2015.
Police quickly identified Wesley Hadsell as a person of interest and obtained a search warrant, the newspaper reported.
A.J. Hadsell had been missing several weeks when police seized Wesley Hadsell’s 2004 Chevy Astro van and found a shovel, a roll of duct tape and black work gloves inside. The Pilot added that Wesley Hadsell reportedly told authorities he was the only person who had access to the vehicle.
According to the newspaper, police used data from a GPS device inside the van to determine the vehicle had been parked for about 20 minutes behind an abandoned house south of Franklin, near the North Carolina border.
Police went to the house and found what looked like shovel marks in the dirt and the body of a woman, later identified by a medical examiner as A.J. Hadsell. The teen was“partially buried” in a ditch, the newspaper reported.
During a police interview two days after A.J. Hadsell vanished, Wesley Hadsell reportedly said he last saw his daughter on March 2 around 12:30 p.m. when he gave her $200 at a gas station on Tidewater Drive in Southampton County.
However, when police reportedly reviewed video surveillance footage from the gas station they found no evidence Wesley Hadsell or his daughter had been there.
It appears Wesley Hadsell “tried to establish the alibi that he was back at work, and had last seen Anjelica Hadsell prior to the time of her abduction and murder,” a detective wrote in court documents obtained by The Pilot.
Last week, Wesley Hadsell was sentenced to 8 years and 4 months in prison in a separate case for attempting to conceal his illegal possession of firearms, the newspaper reported.
[Feature Photo: AJ Hadsell, Wesley Hadsell/ Norfolk Police Department]