Missing university student's father was trying to interfere with probe, prosecutor says

Anjelica (AJ) Hadsell has been missing since March 2. (Norfolk Police Department)

Anjelica (AJ) Hadsell has been missing since March 2. (Norfolk Police Department)

A Virginia prosecutor told a judge Friday the stepfather of a university student missing since March 2 was “seeking to impede” the police investigation into the woman's disappearance.

Police have accused Wesley Hadsell, 36, a convicted felon, of breaking into the home of a person Norfolk police questioned in the disappearance of his stepdaughter. Anjelica (AJ) Hadsell, 18, vanished nearly four weeks ago while home on spring break from freshman classes at Longwood University in Virginia.

Prosecutor Ashley Coleman said at a bond hearing for Hadsell that after breaking into the person’s home March 6, Hadsell punched a dog there, the Virginian-Pilot in Norfolk reported Saturday. Coleman said Hadsell threatened several police witnesses with violence and harassed one with an air horn.

Hadsell told a Virginia TV station he believes his daughter was abducted by the man who lives in the house he burglarized.

“If he entered the house, it’s because he thought his daughter was in danger, defense attorney Katherine Currin said at the hearing.

The paper said Currin asked the judge to release her client on bond or home electronic monitoring. The lawyer said Hadsell was not a risk to flee, despite a rap sheet that includes convictions for felonious restraint, burglary and bank robbery.

“Mr. Hadsell would very much like to be with his family and help with the search for his daughter,” Currin said.

Judge Bruce Wilcox said Hadsell should remain behind bars until his criminal case is resolved.

Hadsell was arrested March 21 on charges of breaking and entering, obstructing justice and possession of ammunition by a felon. The arrest occurred the same day Norfolk searched a wooded area in Chesapeake for his stepdaughter.

The Virginian-Pilot said Coleman told the judge Hadsell had been living in a hotel room after splitting with his wife. She did not say if the break-up occurred before or after Anjelica vanished. Police searched the room and found 75 rounds of ammunition.

Hadsell told WAVY-TV he was arrested after police interrogated him for 15 hours, and asked what he knew about his stepdaughter's disappearance.

“They asked me where she was at,” Hadsell, 36, told WAVY-TV March 21 during an interview at the Norfolk County Jail. “I know, give them the answers. I can bring AJ home. Their words last night [Friday].”

Hadsell said he had nothing to do with Anjelica’s disappearance and just wants her found safe.

The Virginian-Pilot said police have declined to say whether Hadsell is a suspect in the disappearance.