Lily Peters murder: Minnesota man charged after allegedly threatening family of little girl's suspected killer

·2 min read

GRAPHIC CONTENT WARNING: This story discusses a case involving violence against a child.

When Wisconsin 10-year-old Lily Peters went missing in April, the details of the case shocked the local community and made national headlines.

A 14-year-old boy who knew her well allegedly lured her off the road, attacked and strangled her, then sexually assaulted her dead body, according to Chippewa Falls police.

Now, police have arrested a Minnesota man accused of making terroristic threats, a felony, against the family he allegedly believes is responsible.

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Herbert Ray Badalich, a 57-year-old from St. Paul, allegedly called Chippewa County authorities and claimed he was in Chippewa Falls on May 2 and "coming for restitution and was going to murder the whole family," according to a criminal complaint obtained by the Leader-Telegram in Eu Claire. St. Paul is about a 1 hour, 10 minute drive from Chippewa Falls.

Badalich allegedly told police he called in the threat while he was drunk, according to the station.

The 14-year-old suspect, identified only by his initials C.P.B., allegedly accosted Lily on her way from her aunt’s house to her father’s on April 24, according to prosecutors. After her death, the suspect allegedly sexually assaulted her, went home, threw his clothes in the laundry and took a shower.

He later allegedly returned to the crime scene and tried to hide the body.

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"The suspect was not a stranger," Chippewa Falls Police Chief Matthew Kelm said during a news briefing after the arrest. "The suspect was known to the victim. We do not believe there is any danger to the community at this time."

Kelm did not immediately return messages seeking comment regarding Badalich's arrest.

The juvenile suspect has been charged as an adult.

Badalich’s charges were filed last week, court records show.

He is due in a Chippewa County court for his initial appearance on Sept. 27. The charges also include misdemeanor charges of disorderly conduct and unlawful use of a phone.

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Badalich has numerous prior convictions in both Wisconsin and Minnesota, including repeated disorderly conduct charges, court records show.

Minnesota court records show Badalich has a lengthy criminal record, including convictions for assault of a peace officer, carrying a handgun without a permit, drug charges, theft, trespassing and driving while intoxicated.

Court documents from the assault on a police officer case indicate he has a history of depression and anxiety and was prescribed medication.

St. Paul police responded to a report of a drunken customer harassing people at a gas station convenience store and refusing to leave.

Officers arrived to find Badalich "smelled strongly of alcohol" and ignored their requests that he talk with them outside, according to court documents. He punched one of them in the face before they arrested him, and he later pleaded guilty.