Family members of a teen missing in Blacksburg say it looks like she left home on her own accord, pushing a dresser in front of her bedroom door and then climbing out a window.
The family members — her grandfather Fred Hawks and uncle Fred Hawks Jr. — said Nicole Madison Lovell, 13, has never done anything like that in the past.
Lovell has now been missing for more than 30 hours and investigators are treating it as a “very serious matter.”
Police are particularly concerned because the teen requires prescription medication daily for a previous liver transplant and is without the medication, according to a previous news release.
Fred Hawks said she takes two pills each morning and one at night. He said her doctors at the University of Virginia said she may be able to go a little longer without medication because she’s been taking her pills regularly and her most recent blood work showed everything was OK.
But after three days without medication, Hawks said, “it could go either way.” By day five, she would most likely be experiencing liver failure.
Lovell was last seen two days ago in the Lantern Ridge area of Blacksburg around midnight Tuesday into Wednesday morning. Family members said she lives in an apartment there with her mother, uncle, aunt and grandparents.
Hawks said family members were going to give Lovell her medicine the next morning and realized her bedroom door was blocked.
The relatives said they don’t know everything investigators have found, but it appears Lovell’s phone has been off since she went missing. The family has not heard from any friends. She hasn’t posted on Facebook since Tuesday.
“If she would just call and let us know she’s OK and we can come get her,” Fred Hawks Jr. said. “We just don’t know anything.”
Blacksburg Police spokesman Lt. Mike Albert said investigators haven’t determined yet if she left on her own and added that they’re looking at it from every angle.
Fred Hawks Jr. called his niece a “typical teenager” who didn’t seem to have any reason for leaving home. He said she had gone to the mall with her friends the day she went missing and didn’t have any fights with family members.
“We just miss her,” Fred Hawks Jr. said. “We want her to come home.”
Crews were at the Hawks’ apartment off Fairfax Road in Blacksburg on Thursday afternoon. Some workers were marking tracks in the snow leading from a window to the parking lot. Other workers were dusting for fingerprints around the window.
Albert told reporters during a Thursday press conference that local, state and federal officers are helping in the search. The FBI is on scene and Virginia Tech’s Corps of Cadets is helping with the ground search. Crews have also been using drones.
Fred Hawks Jr. said his niece attends Blacksburg Middle School and Auburn Baptist Church. He said she has one of those personalities where “everybody who meets her just loves her.”
Lovell is said to have brown hair and blue eyes wearing black jeans, a grey-striped shirt and brown and pink boots.