The Murder of Lily Peters: Boy, 14, Held on $1M Bail After Wisconsin Girl, 10, Is Found Slain Blocks From Home
Wisconsin police arrested juvenile "known to" missing 10-year-old girl found dead blocks from her home, said authorities.
At a bond hearing on Wednesday, prosecutors said the suspect was a 14-year-old boy. He was ordered held on $1 million cash bail and ordered to have no contact with any juveniles or weapons.
"This was a serious threat to the community, so the court is concerned this could be a further threat if released," Judge Ben Lane said at the hearing.
Gruesome details of the child's death also emerged during the court proceeding. As prosecutors described how the young teen allegedly lured Lily, whom he knew, along a wood trail before they say he punched her, beating her with a stick, strangled her and then sexually assaulted her body.
He was referred to in court by the initials CPB. Chippewa County District Attorney Wade Newell told reporters the suspect has been charged with first-degree intentional homicide, first-degree sexual assault, and first-degree sexual assault with a child under 13 resulting in great bodily harm.
A decision has not been made on whether to try him as an adult, authorities said. Newell said the boy told investigators "intention was to rape and kill victim from the get-go when he left the house with the victim going down the trail." The suspect is being held at the county's juvenile detention center, according to video of the court hearing.
Chippewa Falls Police Chief Matthew Kelm announced the arrest late Tuesday, but provided few details about the young suspect.
"While nothing will bring Lily Peters back or change what happened, we are very grateful to deliver this news to the family and the community," the chief said at a press conference.
The juvenile was not a stranger, he said. "The suspect was known to the victim," the chief said. He declined to name the minor, or to provide the age or gender of the suspect. He also declined to reveal where the arrest took place, and whether the suspect was a relative.
Peters was reported missing by her father at 9 p.m. Sunday, when the child failed to return from visiting her aunt, who lived a short distance away, police said. Her body was found Monday morning, in the woods near a walking trail, just blocks from her home. She had been riding her bike after leaving her aunt's house and was headed home when she vanished, police said.
An autopsy was underway to determine the child's cause of death, authorities said. When that is completed, prosecutors will decided what charges to file, police said.
At a press conference held Tuesday, before the suspect was arrested, Kelm had urged shaken residents to be vigilant, and to drive their children to and from school.
"The people of our community are honest, hardworking and kindhearted," Kelm said. "It is almost impossible to believe that something this horrific could happen in our city, and an event like this threatens our sense of security. However, I believe we will come together as a community to overcome this fear."
Investigators from local, state and federal agencies worked 24-hour shifts before arresting the suspect, Kelm later said.
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