Prosecutor says suspect planned to rape and kill Lily Peters
A 14-year-old boy was held on $1m bond for the murder of Liliana “Lily” Peters, after police said he confessed to leading the 10-year-old along a wooded trail before strangling and sexually assaulting her.
The suspect, referred to by his initials C PB, appeared in court for the first time for a bond hearing on Wednesday 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 told police “his intention was to rape and kill the victim from the get-go” when they left a house together and headed along a nearby trail on Sunday.
The suspect then allegedly punched Lily in the stomach, knocked her to the ground, hit her with a stick and strangled her before sexually assaulting her.
Lily’s body was discovered on Monday morning close to the trail, after she was reported missing by her father the night before.
The suspect was arrested on Tuesday evening after police executed a search warrant at Lily’s aunt’s home, where the fourth-grade student was last seen alive. Police have said Lily knew her killer.
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 PB, 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 SharpApril 28, 2022, 3:25 p.m.
Ex-FBI agent says Lily Peters’ murder is latest ‘monstrous’ act committed by other children
A former FBI agent has described the murder of 10-year-old Lily Peters as the latest among a high number of “monstrous” acts committed by other children, after a 14-year-old boy was arrested and charged with her murder and sexual attack.
Jennifer Coffindaffer told NewsNation’s “Rush Hour” on Wednesday that statistics shows there are “a lot” of murders carried out by minors.
“We know that according to FBI statistics, there were 860+ minors arrested for murder in 2019. And those were the most recent statistics. That’s a lot in my book, when you think about 860 lives that were taken at the hands of these little ones, and also you’re talking is young as 7- and 8-year-olds that have committed murder,” she said.
“So in these situations, definitely in my experience, these individuals were made into, I don’t want to say ‘monsters’, but certainly their acts were monstrous.”
Ms Coffindaffer said that children who kill have often suffered abuse themselves and “truly don’t have empathy for life anymore”.
Rachel Sharp28 April 2022 14:55
Reddit post may have helped lead police to killer
A harrowing Reddit post may have helped lead police to the 14-year-old boy now charged with the murder and sexual assault of slain schoolgirl Lily Peters.
On Monday night, Reddit user HomesliceNation4 commented on a thread about the 10-year-old’s death saying he had seen a girl matching Lily’s description “with another kid” on the walking trail close to where her body had been found.
“What’s scary is I was playing Pokemon Go in the park that day walking along that very same trail,” the Reddit user wrote.
“My stomach turns when I think I saw that girl in a pink/purple hoodie on her bike with another kid on my way out.”
They added: “I have a suspicion that it could be another kid that did it.”
At the time the comment was left, police had found Lily dead in a wooded area by the walking trail.
No arrests had been made, there were no suspects in the case and police were urging the community to be vigilant for fear that there could be an ongoing danger.
Lily was last seen wearing a purple 1/4 zip long sleeve shirt with black stretch pants and gray shoes, according to the missing persons press release.
Other Reddit users were quick to comment on HomesliceNation4’s post, urging them to contact law enforcement while others said they had called the tipline to report the alleged sighting.
On Tuesday, police arrested a 14-year-old boy known to Lily on suspicion of her murder.
The suspect, who is to only be referred to by his initials C PB, allegedly led Lily down the walking trail where he punched her in the stomach, beat her with a stick and strangled her before sexually assaulting the 10-year-old.
Rachel Sharp28 April 2022 14:25
The charges explained
A 14-year-old boy has been charged with three counts in the death of Lily Peters. These charges are:
– First-degree intentional homicide
– First-degree sexual assault
– First-degree sexual assault of a child under age 13 resulting in great bodily harm
At the moment, the juvenile is being charged as an adult because, under Wisconsin law, first-degree homicide charges must first be brought in adult court if the suspect is aged 10 or older.
The case can be transferred to juvenile court at a later date or prosecutors could continue to try the suspect as an adult.
Chippewa County District Attorney Wade Newell said in a press conference on Wednesday afternoon that it would be “premature” to speculate whether prosecutors plan to continue to try the suspect in adult court however he added that it is a “very serious case”.
If the suspect is tried in adult court, he faces up to life in prison on the homicide charge, up to 60 years on the sexual assault charge, and up to life in prison on the sexual assault of a minor charge.
Rachel SharpApril 28, 2022 1:55 p.m.
Watch: Details about Lily Peters’ final moments revealed for first time
Details about Lily Peters’ final moments were revealed for the first time on Wednesday as her suspected killer appeared in court on murder and sexual assault charges.
Chippewa County District Attorney Wade Newell told the court that the 14-year-old suspect intended “to rape and kill the victim from the get-go” when they left a home in Chippewa Falls and headed along a nearby walking trail.
“When he did get off the trail, he punched the victim in the stomach, knocked her to the ground, essentially strangled her, hit her with a stick, before strangling her to the point of death – before he then sexually assaulted her,” the court heard.
Watch the video from the courtroom below:
Prosecutor says suspect planned to rape and kill Lily Peters
Rachel SharpApril 28, 2022 1:22 p.m.
A community begins to heal after suspect is arrested
The announcement that police in Wisconsin had arrested a suspect in connection with the death of 10-year-old Illiana “Lily” Peters on Tuesday night has made some residents in the small tight-knight community begin to look toward healing after the tragedy that unfolded last weekend.
One man, who lives just two doors down from the residence that was searched after a warrant was executed Tuesday, told WEAU News that his mind was slightly put at ease after police said there was no longer a danger to the community.
But, he noted, even the solace of an arrest won’t easily erase from his or his neighbours’ minds what happened to the unassuming 10-year-old the night she was murdered, who was walking on a trail that he and his own children like to frequent in the warmer months.
“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,” Mr Zschernitz told the news outlet.
Johanna Chisholm28 April 2022 12:01
The difference between juvenile and adult court in Wisconsin
The 14-year-old boy accused in the brutal murder of 10-year-old Lily Peters has been charged with first-degree intentional homicide, first-degree sexual assault, and first-degree sexual assault of a child under age 13 resulting in great bodily harm.
Though the boy is a juvenile, under Wisconsin law, first-degree homicide charges must first be brought to adult court if the suspect is aged 10 or older.
If a judge rules there’s enough evidence for the case to move forward to a preliminary hearing, the defendant’s lawyers have the ability to petition the case be moved to juvenile court.
Eau Claire attorney Jay Heit, who’s not affiliated with the case, told WEAU10NEW in an interview that certain crimes give adult court “original jurisdiction”.
“If you’re between the ages of 10 and 17 a charge for a juvenile would start in juvenile court where it’s confidential, the hearings are closed,” he told the news outlet. “There are certain charges for juveniles, once you’re above the age of 10, that automatically start in adult court.”
The prosecutor, however, has told the media that it’s “premature” to speculate whether they plan to continue to try the suspect in adult court, but noted that it is a “very serious case”.
If the 14-year-old’s case was to remain in juvenile court, the proceedings would be closed to the public and a judge, not a jury, would deliver the verdict.
Johanna Chisholm28 April 2022 10:31
Lily’s death similar to case that inspired Amber Alert, says ex-FBI officer
The tragic death of 10-year-old Lily Peters is similar to that of a young girl from Wisconsin, who was killed 26 years ago, prompting authorities to introduce the Amber Alert.
Nine-year-old Amber Hagerman’s body was found near a stream a couple of days after she was taken from her bicycle in 1996.
Although there were no arrests in the case, it inspired the Amber Alert — a message distributed by a child abduction alert system that asks the community for help in locating children.
Train FBI agent Jennifer Coffinaffer told The Sun that in both instances, the girls were last seen riding their bicycles and their bodies were found in secluded wooded areas.
“The killer’s modus operandi were the same in both cases,” she said.
Johanna Chisholm28 April 2022 08:28
Petition to create ‘Lily alert’ set up for missing kids
Neighbor Eric Henry has set up a petition on change.org to create a ‘Lily Alert’ in hopes that communities search sooner in cases of missing children after authorities said the 10-year-old girl’s disappearance didn’t meet the criteria for an Amber Alert.
The petition has already garnered over 59,000 signatures.
“The community is devastated and rallied to start a search group for the missing child. We can do better as a community and must be more proactive,” the statement on the website read.
“There’s got to be a way that we can send based on a radius, a text message to say to the community and let them know, please be on the lookout,” Mr Henry told WEAU10NEWS.
Alisha Rahaman Sarkar28 April 2022 07:13