NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) — Some very telling paperwork released Thursday in the case that has police working to connect some complicated dots for more than two years now in the disappearance and death of Anjelica “AJ” Hadsell. Norfolk police found her body using GPS from the work van of Wesley Hadsell, court documents show.
AJ Hadsell was found dead on an abandoned property some 50 miles from her home in 2015 — more than a month after she went missing. An autopsy later revealed the body to be AJ Hadsell.
According to court documents, AJ died of homicidal violence and acute heroin poisoning was determined to be the cause of death.
Wesley Hadsell, who is AJ’s adoptive stepfather, was sentenced last November to 20 years for being a felon in possession of ammunition. He had been arrested during a search on unrelated charges — but never became a suspect.
He admitted to 10 On Your Side during an interview that he broke into a home to investigate AJ’s disappearance and found the jacket she was last seen wearing.
However, his name appears often in newly unsealed in court documents which hone in on the investigation surrounding his work van. The GPS revealed the van was behind an abandoned house on Smiths Ferry Road. Police obtained a search warrant and inside the van Norfolk investigators say they found a shovel, a pair of black work gloves and a roll of duct tape – all with dirt residue. Investigators also seized a GPS that was inside the van and data pinned the GPS to the abandoned home on Smiths Ferry Road.
Investigators went to the abandoned home in Franklin and found the remains of AJ Hasell dumped in a ditch and partially buried. There were what appeared to be shovel marks in the dirt around the body.
Court documents show that on the same day AJ went missing, Wesley’s co-worker said he left work around noon. About an hour later, Wesley’s boss sent him a text message asking where he was and he replied saying, “my daughter needed money.” Court documents show Wesley returned to work about two hours later in a highly agitated state and he took the rest of the day off.
Hadsell maintained his innocence when asked if he was involved in his adopted daughter’s case.
Norfolk Judge Arenda L. Wright Allen said she considered Wesley Hadsell’s lengthy criminal history when she sentenced him last November. The 38-year-old has been in and out of custody since he was 12 years old.
Stay with WAVY for updates to this developing news.