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Who was Anjelica “AJ” Hadsell and how did she die? NBC Dateline will revisit horrific death of Norfolk teenager

This Friday Deadline episode, titled Jacketwill have Andrea Canning report on the disappearance and murder of Anjelica “AJ” Hadsell on NBC at 10:00 p.m. ET.

Rookie Anjelica “AJ” Hadsell was reported missing during spring break. Contact Norfolk PD 757-664-7026 with information. http://t.co/0FMRTE2YnK

The Norfolk Police Department said that in March 2015, the 18-year-old freshman from Longwood University mysteriously disappeared during her spring break while visiting her parents’ house in Tarrallton, Norfolk. It was not until five weeks later that his body was discovered half-buried at a deserted site in Southampton County.

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When GPS tracked her whereabouts, Wesley Hadsell, the victim’s stepfather, was identified as a suspect in Angelica’s murder. Earlier this year, nearly seven years after the murder, a jury found him guilty of first degree murder as well as harboring the body. Wesley was tried for the second time for the murder.


Who was Anjelica “AJ” Hadsell and how did she die?

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On March 2, 2015, Anjelica “AJ” Hadsell, then 18, went missing from Norfolk, Virginia. AJ disappeared during spring break of her freshman year while visiting her parents’ house.

When news of her disappearance first broke, it was reported that she was last seen by a neighbour, leaving the scene in a car from her mother’s house in Millard Street. It took five weeks for her body to be discovered, partly buried in a drainage ditch behind an abandoned house in Southampton County, near the North Carolina border.

Norfolk Police say 18-year-old Anjelica “AJ” Hadsell remains missing as of this afternoon bit.ly/1FdHpDw http://t.co/xRu3zZMx06

According to the medical examiner’s reports, in addition to “lethal violence”, an acute heroin overdose was also the cause of the death of 18-year-old Anjelica. His eyes and chin were blackened and damaged, and the amount of heroin in his blood was three times the lethal level. Due to damage to her body from animals and insects, the examiner could not determine if she had been sexually abused.

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Wesley Hadsell, AJ’s adoptive father/ex-stepfather, was immediately suspected of being directly involved in the case. It was around noon on the day of AJ’s disappearance when Wesley hastily left his workplace, informing his co-workers of an encounter with his daughter. His colleagues reported that about two hours later he returned to the office, appearing anxious, and took time off for the rest of the day.

According to reports, prosecutor Toni Colvin said there were bruises found on the victim’s chest. The prosecutor explained that the bruising on his chest was likely caused by someone forcefully holding his arm across the victim’s chest, while the bruising on his chin was likely caused by the forceful introduction of the lethal dose of heroin into the victim’s system.

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Reports also indicate that the defendant, stating that the victim committed suicide, attempted to assert his innocence, to which Judge L. Wayne Farmer responded by saying:

“Blame her – it’s offensive. You took a beautiful life and threw it away like trash.”


In an NBC Press press release, Andrea Canning interviewed Wesley Hadsell, Norfolk Police Investigator David Benjamin and Anjelica’s close friends Corey French and Andre Barr for Friday. Deadline episode.

Watch Anjelica “AJ” Hadsell’s Story June 3, 2022 at 10 p.m. ET on NBC Deadline.


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