Inmate claims he’s connected in death of AJ Hadsell

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NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — Police are investigating a new lead in the killing of a college freshman who disappeared from her Norfolk home in 2015.

Norfolk detectives received two handwritten letters in July from a Western Tidewater Regional Jail inmate who claimed to have “direct knowledge” connected to the killing of 18-year-old Anjelica “AJ” Hadsell, according to recently unsealed court documents. 

The inmate — who has not been charged in connection to the case — told police that in June he was housed with AJ’s stepfather, 40-year-old Wesley Hadsell, at the WTRJ.

Although he’s never been charged with her killing, Wesley Hadsell has long been a suspect in AJ’s death. When questioned about her disappearance in March of 2015, he gave police inconsistent statements about the last time he saw AJ, and cellular phone data indicated that the teenager’s phone was likely with him when she disappeared, court documents state.

About a month after she disappeared, a GPS found in Wesley Hadsell’s work van led investigators to her body, which was dumped in a ditch behind an abandoned home in Franklin. The medical examiner determined AJ died of homicidal violence and heroin poisoning, according to court documents.

In the letter, the inmate said that while they were housed in jail together, Wesley Hadsell shared “specific details” about AJ’s death. The inmate also said that he had a “professional and personal” relationship with both AJ and her stepfather prior to her death, and that the pair had been to his Suffolk home in in January or February 2015 before she died, according to court documents.

The inmate told detectives that he wants immunity before he will speak with investigators.

Police confirmed that Wesley Hadsell and the inmate were housed together in June 2018. Police also took out a search warrant for the inmate’s laptop to see if it contains information that would confirm he knew AJ and Wesley Hadsell in 2015 and whether or not he was involved in the teenager’s death.

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