Prosecutor says suspect planned to rape and kill Lily Peters
A preliminary autopsy has found that Liliana “Lily” Peters suffered blunt force trauma and strangulation, confirming the 10-year-old’s death a homicide.
Chippewa County Coroner Ron Patten confirmed the details to The Independent on Thursday, saying that the full report was not expected for several more weeks.
The preliminary findings support the version of events presented in court on Wednesday, where a 14-year-old boy was held on $1m bond on charges of first-degree intentional homicide, first-degree sexual assault, and first-degree sexual assault of a child under the age 13 resulting in great bodily harm.
Prosecutors said the teenager, who knew his victim, led Lily along a walking trail near her aunt’s house where he allegedly punched her in the stomach, knocked her to the ground, hit her with a stick and strangled her before sexually assaulting her.
The teenager, referred to by his initials C P-B, allegedly confessed to police that “his intention was to rape and kill the victim from the get-go” when they left the house together on Sunday.
Lily’s body was discovered on Monday morning close to the trail, after she was reported missing by her father the night before.
What happens if the case moves to juvenile court
Despite being a juvenile, the suspect is currently charged in adult court for Lily Peters’ murder and sexual assault.
This is because, under Wisconsin law, a first-degree homicide case must begin in adult court.
It can later move to juvenile court if the suspect’s defence team filed a petition with the court to do so and the judge grants the request.
The prosecution can object to the case being moved.
Here’s what to expect if the case is moved to juvenile court:
– The case will be sealed
– The suspect, even if convicted, will not be sentenced
– The suspect will serve a supervised sentence at a juvenile detention centre or other facility rather than an adult prison
– The suspect could be released when he turns 18, rather than face life in prison on the charges in adult court
Rachel Sharp28 April 2022 19:40
Expert urges local parents to talk with children about killing
A local psychiatrist is urging parents to talk with their children about the murder of Lily Peters.
Alison Jones, a psychiatrist at Marshfield Clinic in Eau Claire, told WEAU that it is important for parents to speak to their children about what happened or they may look for information – and find less accurate information – elsewhere.
She recommended speaking to their children about safety in the community and what to do if they need help in a situation.
Ms Jones also urged parents to keep a close eye for any changes in behaviour among their children which could be a sign that they are struggling with what happened.
“Kids asking more questions, really perseverating or getting stuck on details about the event or even other things that are happening in their lives,” she said.
“Maybe being more clingy or wanting to attach to their family or not wanting to go out of the home without their parents.”
Rachel Sharp28 April 2022 19:10
Map of Lily Peters’ route home and where her body was found
The initial search for Lily Peters was launched on Sunday night when she left her aunt’s home on North Grove Street and failed to return to her home on East Birch Street.
Taking the most direct route, the journey is a roughly six-minute walk or two-minute cycle.
Her body was discovered in a wooded area close to the Duncan Creek Trail, near the Leinenkugel’s Brewery, on Monday morning.
Prosecutors said the suspect has admitted to leaving the home with Lily and heading along the walking trail together.
He then allegedly attacked the 10-year-old, strangling her before sexually assaulting her.
Pictured: Map showing Lily’s aunt’s address at North Grove Street, her home at East Birch Street and the Leinenkugel brewery close to where her body was found
Rachel Sharp28 April 2022 18:40
What we know about the suspect
The suspect charged with the murder of Lily Peters is a 14-year-old boy who police said was known to the 10-year-old victim.
Because of his age and the sensitivity of the case, Chippewa County Court on Wednesday ordered that the suspect’s name must not be released and that he cannot be filmed during court appearanaces.
Instead, the suspect is known only by his initials C P-B.
Officials have refused to say if he is related to Lily but have confirmed that they knew each other.
According to prosecutors, the teenager admitted in statements to law enforcement that “his intention was to rape and kill the victim from the get-go” when they left a house together and headed down a nearby walking trail.
Lily was last seen alive at her aunt’s house on North Grove Street on Sunday before she left to return to her home at East Birch Street. Her body was discovered on Monday morning in a wooded area close to a nearby walking trail.
Prosecutors said the suspect told officers he and the victim left the home together and headed along the walking trial.
There, he allegedly punched Lily in the stomach, knocked her to the ground, hit her with a stick, strangled her “to the point of death” and sexually assaulted her.
Police arrested the suspect after carrying out a search warrant at the aunt’s home on Tuesday, where they collected evidence and carried out interviews.
Officials have refused to confirm if the boy lives at the address.
The defence team said in court on Wednesday that he is an eighth-grade student who has lived in Chippewa Falls with his mother his whole life.
The 14-year-old has been charged with first-degree intentional homicide, first-degree sexual asssualt, and first-degree sexual asssualt of a child under age 13 resulting in great bodily harm.
If convicted as an adult, he faces up to life in prison on the charges.
Rachel Sharp28 April 2022 18:10
Autopsy findings support allegations killer hit and strangled victim
The findings of a preliminary autopsy on the body of Lily Peters support the version of events presented in court on Wednesday.
Chippewa County Coroner Ron Patten told The Independent that preliminary autopsy findings confirmed that the 10-year-old’s death was a homicide and that she was strangled and suffered blunt force trauma in the attack.
In court on Wednesday, prosecutors revealed details about how Lily died for the first time.
Chippewa County District Attorney Wade Newell said that the suspect led Lily along a walking trail where he punched her in the stomach, knocked her to the ground, hit her with a stick and strangled her.
He then sexually assaulted the 10-year-old child, the prosecutor said.
DA Newell told the court that the suspect confessed that “his intention was to rape and kill the victim from the get-go”.
Rachel Sharp28 April 2022 17:38
Preliminary autopsy reveals Lily Peters suffered blunt force trauma and strangulation
Murdered schoolgirl Lily Peters suffered blunt force trauma and strangulation when she was attacked and sexually assaulted by her teenage killer, according to a preliminary autopsy.
Chippewa County Coroner Ron Patten told The Independent on Thursday that the preliminary autopsy findings had confirmed that the 10-year-old’s death was a homicide and that she was strangled and suffered blunt force trauma in the attack.
The coroner said that he does not expect to release the preliminary report and instead plans to wait to release the full autopsy report when it is completed in around six weeks’ time.
He said that the full autopsy included additional testing as officials want to be “very thorough” with the investigation.
The preliminary findings support the version of events presented in court on Wednesday, where a 14-year-old boy was charged with her murder.
The Independent’s Rachel Sharp has the full story:
Rachel Sharp28 April 2022 17:09
Community shaken after Lily Peters’ murder
The tight-knit Chippewa Falls community has been shaken by the horrific murder of 10-year-old Lily Peters, who was allegedly punched, beaten with a stick, strangled and sexually assaulted by her teenage killer.
Lily was found dead by a walking trail close to his aunt’s house on Monday morning, hours after her father reported her missing when she failed to return home on Sunday night.
Police arrested and charged a 14-year-old boy with her murder and sexual assault.
The suspect, who was known to the victim, allegedly led Lily along the walking trail where he then sexually assaulted and murdered her, leaving her body to be discovered by search teams.
Local parent Jack Zschernitz told WEAU that he lives just two doors down from Lily’s aunt’s house, where the 10-year-old was last seen alive on Sunday.
A search warrant was executed at that address on Tuesday before the suspect was taken into custody.
Mr Zschernitz said he often takes his own children for walks along the same trail where Lily was allegedly led to her death and feels that – even with the suspect now in custody – the killing has put him and other parents on edge.
“I feel like it’s going to make a lot more parents be more protective who will never want their kids out of their view,” he said.
“I mean, it’s one of those really difficult things that it can, you know, I don’t want to over parent just because of one isolated incident.”
Rachel Sharp28 April 2022 16:55
GoFundMe for Lily Peters’ family passes $28,000 in donations
A GoFundMe page set up to support Lily Peters’ grieving family has topped $28,000 in donations as of Thursday morning.
The page, set up by a “close family friend”, is raising money to help the 10-year-old’s family with funeral expenses and memorials.
“I am trying to help the family in any way possible in their time of need. The loss of Lily is devastating. She went missing Sunday evening after leaving her aunts house in Chippewa Falls, WI,” reads the GoFundMe.
“Monday morning she was found & the worst imagined had happened this was not an accident she was found deceased. Although Lily is no longer with us her spirit & smiles always will be.
“Heartbreaking for her family, friends & community let’s come together & help her family with expenses. This is a very tragic loss & a complete nightmare.
“All donations will be going to the family of Lily for funeral cost, & memorial also any extra expenses that may occur. If you are unable to donate, please share. Peace be with you all.”
Rachel Sharp28 April 2022 16:25
Suspect intended ‘to rape and kill victim from get-go’
The suspected killer planned “to rape and kill” Lily Peters “from the get-go” as they left her aunt’s house together and headed along a nearby walking trail, according to prosecutors.
Lily was found dead in a wooded area close to a walking trail a few blocks from her aunt’s house on Monday morning.
Police have arrested a 14-year-old boy who knew the victim and charged him with first-degree murder, first-degree sexual assault and first-degree sexual assault of a child.
The teenager allegedly confessed to law enforcement that it was his “intention was to rape and kill the victim from the get-go when he left the house with the victim going down the trail”, prosecutors said at a bond hearing on Wednesday.
After going down the trail, the suspect allegedly punched Lily in the stomach, knocked her to the ground, hit her with a stick and strangled her “to the point of death” before sexually assaulting her.
Rachel Sharp28 April 2022 15:55
Victim’s family didn’t attend alleged killer’s court hearing
The family of murdered schoolgirl Lily Peters were not present in Chippewa County court on Wednesday afternoon to see the 14-year-old boy accused of strangling and sexually assaulting her appear in court for the first time.
The suspect, whose is being referred to by his initials C P-B, appeared for a hearing on Wednesday afternoon where his bond was set at $1m cash.
The teenager, who knew his victim, was charged with three counts of murder, sexual assault and sexual assault of a child.
No one from either the victim’s family or the suspect’s family appeared to be physically present in the courtroom for the hearing, reported KARE11 reporter Lou Ragouse.
Rachel Sharp28 April 2022 15:25