Everything we know about the death of 10-year-old Lily Peters

Teenage killer allegedly strangled and sexually assaulted Lily Peters, leaving her body in a wooded area

Prosecutor says suspect planned to rape and kill Lily Peters
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The death of 10-year-old Iliana “Lily” Peters and the arrest of a 14-year-old boy for her murder has shocked the small, tight-knit community of Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin.

Lily was found dead at around 9.15am on Monday morning in a wooded area close to a walking trail by the Leinenkugel’s brewery.

The fourth-grade student had been reported missing by her father at around 9pm on Sunday after she failed to return from her aunt’s house on North Grove Street to her own home on East Birch Street.

The two homes are a roughly six-minute walk from each other.

A search was launched to track down the missing child.

Her bike was found along the trail later that night before her body was discovered the next morning.

The murder

Prosecutors said that Lily left her aunt’s house together with her alleged killer and they headed along the walking trail.

As they went along 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”.

He then sexually assaulted the 10-year-old child, prosecutors said.

Preliminary autopsy findings released on Thursday revealed that Lily suffered strangulation and blunt force trauma in the attack.

Her death has been ruled a homicide with the full autopsy report expected in around six weeks, Chippewa County Coroner Ron Patten told The Independent.

The arrest

Local residents were urged to remain vigilant and extra law enforcement was drafted in to patrol schools while the killer remained at large earlier.

Then, on Tuesday evening, Chippewa Falls Police Chief Matthew Kelm announced that a juvenile had been arrested on suspicion of Lily’s murder.

Police tracked down and arrested the accused killer after executing a search warrant at Lily’s aunt’s home on North Grove Street earlier that evening.

Evidence was collected from the property and interviews were carried out, before the suspect was taken into custody, police said.

The suspect

The suspect is a 14-year-old boy who police said was known to the 10-year-old victim.

He appeared in court for the first time for a hearing where his bond was set at $1m.

Because of his age and the sensitivity of the case, Chippewa County Court on Wednesday ordered that the suspect must only be referred to by his initials C P-B and that he cannot be filmed during court appearances.

Officials have refused to say if he is related to Lily but have confirmed that the two knew each other.

Prosecutors said the suspect admitted in statements to law enforcement that “his intention was to rape and kill the victim from the get-go” when they left the house together and headed down the walking trail.

Officials have refused to confirm if the boy lives at the same address as Lily’s aunt.

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.

What happens next?

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.

At present he is being charged as an adult because Wisconsin law stipulates that first-degree homicide charges must first be brought in adult court if the suspect is aged 10 or older. The case can later move to juvenile court.

If convicted as an adult, he faces up to life in prison on the charges.

The suspect is scheduled to next appear in court at 3.30pm CT on Thursday 5 May.

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