NORFOLK—This week marks two years since AJ Hadsell disappeared from her home.
The Longwood University freshman was home on spring break when she vanished. After weeks of searching police found her body behind an abandoned home in Southampton county. She died of a heroin overdose. No one has been charged in her death.
After two years, there are still many unanswered questions in her death. Zach Hoffer is the man who helped raise AJ. He was her stepfather before Wesley Hadsell came in the picture.
“It’s been an emotional rollercoaster. It’s been horrible, like the worst thing you can possibly imagine,” said Hoffer.
Wesley Hadsell is AJ’s adoptive father. Police named Hadsell as a person of interest, but never a suspect in AJ’s disappearance. He’s now serving 20 years in prison for unrelated gun charges. Even though no charges were ever filed against Hadsell, Hoffer believes more could have been done to protect AJ and his two other daughters. Hadsell has a violent criminal history dating back to his teens.
“This was common sense. Somebody, somewhere should have said something, said Hoffer.”
Meanwhile, Hoffer wants people to remember his stepdaughter in a positive light, and believes justice is still on the way.
“The detectives are very competent and have put a lot of effort into this. I just still have faith in them,” he said.
Norfolk police say there is no new information to release in this case. They say the investigation is still ongoing.