Grammar goof or clues in a crime?

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Norfolk, Va. - In several interviews with television stations and on an Internet podcast, the adoptive father of missing college student AJ Hadsell repeatedly spoke of her in the past tense, even though no one at the time knew she was dead.

Several law enforcement sources are telling NewsChannel 3 that investigators have noted the numerous times Wesley Hadsell spoke of his daughter that way, saying it could be a revealing clue.

Anjelica "AJ" Hadsell disappeared in Norfolk on March 2 while on spring break from Longwood University. For weeks, Wesley Hadsell and others organized searches for her until police arrested him. Police told NewsChannel 3 that he was interfering with their investigation. They haven't disclosed exactly how.

But while he was free, and even in interviews from jail, Wesley Hadsell often lapsed into past tense when talking about AJ.

"My daughter was an awesome person," he said during an Internet podcast on ChelseaHoffman.com that was published three weeks before AJ's body was found. On her website, Hoffman said she invited Wesley Hadsell to call into her show, "Case to Case with Chelsea Hoffman" and talk about the search for AJ.

"My daughter was an awesome person," Wesley Hadsell said in the interview. "She helped people. She excelled. She inspired. She, she loved people."

Several times during the interview, Wesley Hadsell spoke of AJ in the past. When asked if he knew who might have taken her, Wesley Hadsell said, "My daughter didn't have enemies. But, let's say, she had someone ... who, um, liked her, loved, her, obsessed about her."

He did not reveal who that was.

Hoffman told NewsChannel 3 on Thursday that a Norfolk homicide detective contacted her, asking if she had any portions of the interview that were not broadcast. She said she didn't.

Hadsell also lapsed into past tense in television interviews, including one with NewsChannel 3's Marissa Jasek.

"I loved her. We were a family. And I wanted to be a family," Wesley Hadsell told Marissa, weeks before AJ's body was found. He continued, "She was the glue for our family."

Police have not said how or when AJ died, and they have not charged anyone in her disappearance or death. Wesley Hadsell is charged with breaking into a neighbor's home in a crime police said was related to the case. They will not say specifically how. He was also charged for being a felon in possession of ammunition.

Related: 

AJ Hadsell’s biological father: ‘I just regret not being part of her life’

Friend on AJ Hadsell’s death: ‘This just feels like a terrible nightmare’

Family and friends host softball tournament in memory of Anjelica Hadsell

Man who helped raise missing Norfolk teen: ‘It just doesn’t seem right’

Wesley Hadsell’s sister doubting brother’s innocence in AJ’s disappearance: “I had blinders on.”

Tip leads Norfolk police to Isle of Wight in search for AJ Hadsell

Judge denies bond for father of missing Norfolk teen

Mother of missing Norfolk teen: ‘Leave us alone’

Father of missing Norfolk teen comments on violent criminal history: ‘My past is my past’

Tip leads to new search for missing teen Anjelica Hadsell in Chesapeake

Search for missing Norfolk girl enters second week

13 comments

  • Duckhomie

    This guy is a scumbag. No doubt about it. Let him rot in prison. And shame on mom too, for even associating with such trash, I blame her second.

  • ethel

    I think HE was the one obsessed with her. And shame on mom for letting any other man adopt her child….I don’t care if her biological father wasn’t in her life. A lot of poor choices were made with this precious gift from God.

    • Heidi

      Why is adoption by her current husband who was raising her wrong? Happens everyday and I for one am extremely thankful my stepfather adopted me and my siblings 2 years after he married my mother back in 1975. He was my Dad forever more – 35 years til his death in 2010. My biological father lived one town over and had nothing to do with us/deadbeat drunk who never paid a dime in child support or time with us. Adopting fathers are very important in the family unit and for you imply that this selfish act is in someway “wrong” is absurd. You should not generalize and group all adoptive father’s into a category based on your assumption of what this particular adoptive father did or did not do, to his adoptive daughter.

      • ethel

        That’s wonderful…but I highly doubt your mother married a criminal. I’ll also add I’ll bet your mother and adoptive father put a great deal of thought into adoption before it was done.

        I have nothing against adoption whatsoever if it’s with all the right intentions. Something about this child’s ‘family’ history is highly suspect and just plain sad.

  • Ms Johnson

    It seems odd that Mr Hadsell was arrested… claiming to have found AJ’s jacket in the couch cushions. Where was the home owner? Who is the home owner? Was he planting evidence to save his butt… seems strange

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