NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — The adoptive stepfather of a Norfolk teen found dead after being reported missing in 2015 has been officially indicted on first-degree murder charges.
On Monday, a grand jury indicted Wesley Paul Hadsell, 40, on one count of first-degree murder, one count of second-degree felony murder and one count of a felony concealment of a dead body in connection to the death of his adopted daughter, 18-year-old Anjelica “AJ’ Hadsell, according to the Norfolk Police Department.
The indictments were sought by both the Southampton County Commonwealth’s Attorney and the Norfolk Police Department.
Neighbors of Wesley Hadsell are trying to wrap their heads around this latest development in the mystery surrounding AJ’s death.
“I’m totally shocked by this. I have been praying and hoping it’s not true,” said one neighbor who didn’t want to be identified.
Anjelica Hadsell’s body was discovered in Southampton County partially buried in a ditch behind an abandoned home over a month after she was reported missing on March 2, 2015. She was a freshman at Longwood University and home on spring break at the time of her death.
Police were able to find her body using the GPS system from Wesley Hadsell’s work van, according to court documents, but he was never formally charged until Monday. Police also found a shovel, work gloves and a roll of duct tape — all with dirt residue — inside the work van. Despite the evidence, Hadsell continued to maintain his innocence in the case.
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Neighbors said the allegations against him don’t fit the Wesley they knew.
One woman recalled how he fixed her heater in the middle of the night.
“That’s the guy that I know, one that looked out for other people. Anybody that needed anything in this neighborhood, he was there,” she said.
Although they’re shocked, they’re remembering AJ and waiting for what’s next.
“She was a beautiful girl. The world lost a sweet soul that day. If he did this, then he needs to pay,” said the neighbor.
Police say Hadsell, who’s serving a 10-year appealed sentence for illegally possessing ammunition, is in the process of being returned to Southampton County.