Prosecutors have upgraded the charges against one of the suspects in her death

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Prosecutors announced Tuesday that the preliminary cause of death for Nicole Lovell, the 13-year-old girl allegedly murdered by a Virginia Tech student, was stabbing.

Prosecutors said Lovell was likely killed on January 27, the day she went missing.

Authorities arrested Virginia Tech track team member David Eisenhauer last week and charged him with felony counts of first-degree murder and abduction.

As a result of the findings announced today, prosecutors upgraded the charges against the second student students charged in connection with Lovell’s death: Natalie Keepers is now charged with accessory before the fact to first-degree murder. She was originally charged with one felony count of improper disposal of a dead body and one misdemeanor count of accessory after the fact in the commission of a felony. The new charges carry a penalty of 20 years to life in prison.

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During Tuesday’s press conference, Nicole’s mother, Tammy Weeks, read an emotional statement, explaining that the seventh grader was nicknamed “Coley.”

“Coley had a passion for pandas, music, dancing, dreamed of being on American Idol someday,” Weeks said. “Her favorite color was blue. Nicole was a very lovable person. Nicole touched many people throughout her short life.”

Partway through the statement, Weeks broke down in tears. An unidentified man stepped forward and finished the statement.

“Our hearts still ache in sadness and secret tears still flow,” he read. “What it meant to lose you, no one will ever know.”

With reporting by NANCY DUNHAM