Lily Peters news - latest: Preliminary autopsy shows victim suffered blunt force trauma and strangulation

·34 min read

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.

Keypoints

  • Bond set at $1m as suspect appears in court for first time

  • Suspect planned ‘to rape and kill victim from get-go’

  • Lily’s death similar to case that inspired Amber Alert

  • What we know about the suspect

  • Autopsy could take several more days

  • Community begins to heal after suspect is arrested

Preliminary autopsy reveals Lily Peters suffered blunt force trauma and strangulation

17:09 , Rachel Sharp

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:

Lily Peters suffered blunt force trauma and strangulation, preliminary autopsy shows

Community shaken after Lily Peters’ murder

16:55 , Rachel Sharp

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.”

GoFundMe for Lily Peters’ family passes $28,000 in donations

16:25 , Rachel Sharp

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.”

Lily Peters GoFundMe (GoFundMe)
Lily Peters GoFundMe (GoFundMe)

Suspect intended ‘to rape and kill victim from get-go’

15:55 , Rachel Sharp

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.

Victim’s family didn’t attend alleged killer’s court hearing

15:25 , Rachel Sharp

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.

Ex-FBI agent says Lily Peters’ murder is latest ‘monstrous’ act committed by other children

14:55 , Rachel Sharp

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 assault.

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”.

Reddit post may have helped lead police to killer

14:25 , Rachel Sharp

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 grey 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 P-B, 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.

Reddit user says they believe they spotted Lily Peters with ‘another kid' (Reddit/HomesliceNation4)
Reddit user says they believe they spotted Lily Peters with ‘another kid' (Reddit/HomesliceNation4)

The charges explained

13:55 , Rachel Sharp

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 juevnile 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.

Watch: Details about Lily Peters’ final moments revealed for first time

13:22 , Rachel Sharp

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:

A community begins to heal after suspect is arrested

12:01 , Johanna Chisholm

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.

The difference between juvenile and adult court in Wisconsin

10:31 , Johanna Chisholm

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.

Lily’s death similar to case that inspired Amber Alert, says ex-FBI officer

08:28 , Johanna Chisholm

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.

Former FBI agent Jennifer Coffindaffer 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.

Petition to create ‘Lily alert’ set up for missing kids

07:13 , Alisha Rahaman Sarkar

Neighbour 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.

Accused, 14, could face life in prison

06:26 , Alisha Rahaman Sarkar

The 14-year-old accused of killing Lily Peters, 10, could face life in prison if convicted of the allegations.

The accused 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.

Under Wisconsin law, first-degree homicide charges must first be brought to adult court if the suspect is aged 10 or older.

The prosecutor told the media that it would be “premature” to speculate whether they plan to continue to try the suspect in adult court although it is a “very serious case”.

Chippewa County mourns Lily’s death

05:39 , Alisha Rahaman Sarkar

The Chippewa Falls community was rocked by the brutal death of Lily Peters, 10, who was sexually assaulted and killed by a 14-year-old.

Even prior to the discovery of Lily’s body, the community came together to hold vigils and makeshift memorials to grieve with the family.

“I mean, it’s unbelievable that a ten-year-old girl would be killed and it just doesn’t happen in Chippewa Falls and doesn’t happen in the Chippewa Valley,” mayor Greg Hoffman told WEAU13NEWS.

Neighbours are also collecting funds for the bereaved family by giving out stickers and buttons for donation.“Well, I’m not a cop. I can’t do anything. But this is. This is my gift and talent, and this is what I can do. And when I see other business owners doing the same thing. That just tells me I’m in the right community,” Carl Smiskey, who owns the Chippewa Store, said.

ICYMI: 14-year-old boy charged with murder after allegedly strangling and sexually assaulting Lily Peters

05:00 , Rachel Sharp

A 14-year-old boy has been held on $1m bond for the murder of Lily Peters, after the court heard how he allegedly led the 10-year-old along a wooded trail before beating her with a stick, strangling her and sexually assaulting her.

The suspect, who was referred to only by his initials C P-B, appeared in court for the first time for a bond hearing on Wednesday afternoon over the brutal killing which has shocked the tight-knit community of Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin.

Prosecutors said that the teenager admitted to law enforcement that “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”.

After going along the walking 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. Lily’s body was discovered on Monday morning in a wooded area close to the trail, after she was reported missing by her father the night before.

The Independent’s Rachel Sharp has the full story:

Juvenile suspect held on $1m bond for rape and murder of Lily Peters

Suspect planned ‘to rape and kill victim from get-go’

04:00 , Rachel Sharp

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 trail, according to prosecutors.

Prosecutors told the court that the 14-year-old suspect 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”.

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”.

The suspect then sexually assaulted the 10-year-old child.

Her body was found in a wooded area close to the trail on Monday morning.

What we know about the suspect

03:15 , Rachel Sharp

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.

The three charges against the suspect

02:30 , Rachel Sharp

The suspect has been charged with three counts of:

- First-degree intentional homicide

- First-degree sexual assault

- First-degree sexual assault of a child under age 13 resulting in great bodily harm

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 then be transferred to juvenile court.

The prosecutor said in a press conference on Wednesday afternoon that it would be “premature” to speculate whether they plan to continue to try the suspect in adult court however he added that it is a “very serious case”.

If convicted in adult court, the suspect faces up to life in prison on the charges.

Autopsy could take several more days

01:45 , Rachel Sharp

Lily Peters’ autopsy could take several more days to complete as the medical examiner carries out additional testing on the 10-year-old’s body.

Chippewa County Coroner Ron Patten told The Independent on Wednesday afternoon that he expects it to be at least another day or two before preliminary findings are released.

Mr Patten said the timescale is down to the fact that officials are carrying out a full forensic autopsy with extra testing on the girl’s body.

This is standard practice when the death is considered to be a homicide, he said.

The Ramsay County Medical Examiner’s Office is conducting the autopsy but Mr Patten said the findings and report will come from his office.

Reporter reveals ‘eerie’ encounter with suspect

01:00 , Rachel Sharp

KARE11 reporter Lou Ragouse has revealed he had an “eerie” encounter with the suspect prior to the teenager being arrested and charged with Lily Peters’ murder.

“Now that I’ve seen the juvenile suspect via video monitor, I know for sure that I encountered him earlier while reporting on this story,” he tweeted on Wednesday.

“He answered the door when I knocked -- I asked for an adult who was not home -- I offered condolences and left. Very eerie now in hindsight.”

Criminal complaint remains sealed

Thursday 28 April 2022 00:30 , Rachel Sharp

The criminal complaint against the suspected killer of Lily Peters was sealed by the judge on Wednesday.

Due to the alleged killer’s age – as a 14-year-old boy – information has so far been restricted about the case.

The court ordered that the suspect can only be referred to by his initials C P-B and that neither the defendant nor the victim’s family may be filmed during court proceedings.

As well as the criminal complaint, search warrants have also been sealed.

This includes the search warrant executed at the home of Lily’s aunt.

Map of Lily Peters’ route home and where her body was found

Thursday 28 April 2022 00:00 , Rachel Sharp

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

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 (Google Maps)
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 (Google Maps)

Lily Peters’ suspected killer told police he ‘beat her with stick, strangled and raped her’

Wednesday 27 April 2022 23:30 , Rachel Sharp

A 14-year-old boy has confessed to murdering Lily Peters, admitting that he led the 10-year-old along a wooded trail before beating her with a stick, strangling her and sexually assaulting her, according to authorities.

The suspect, who was referred to only by his initials C P-B, appeared in court for the first time for a bond hearing on Wednesday afternoon over the brutal killing which has shocked the tight-knit community of Chippewa Falls.

Prosecutors said that the teenager admitted to law enforcement that “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”.

After going along the walking 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. Lily’s body was discovered on Monday morning in a wooded area close to the trail, after she was reported missing by her father the night before.

The Independent’s Rachel Sharp has the full story:

Juvenile suspect held on $1m bond for rape and murder of Lily Peters

Teenager faces life in prison if convicted

Wednesday 27 April 2022 23:00 , Rachel Sharp

The teenager suspected of murdering 10-year-old Lily Peters faces life in prison if convicted on the charges.

DA Wade Newell said that the 14-year-old has been charged with first-degree intentional homicide, first-degree sexual asssualt, and first-degree sexual assault of a child under the age 13 resulting in great bodily harm.

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 then be transferred to juvenile court.

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.

Local residents react to suspect’s arrest

Wednesday 27 April 2022 22:30 , Rachel Sharp

Local residents have spoken of their relief that a suspect has been arrested in connection to the murder of Lily Peters, which has rocked the small tight-knit community of Chippewa Falls.

Lance Nicolai told WCCO that he is sad for Lily’s family but that the arrest was a step towards justice for the murdered 10-year-old.

“I do feel sorry, my sympathy is to the family. The little girl, I’ve seen her around,” he said.

“It’s a small town. It’s a good town, Chippewa Falls.”

Autopsy could take several more days

Wednesday 27 April 2022 22:00 , Rachel Sharp

Lily Peters’ autopsy could take several more days to complete as the medical examiner carries out additional testing on the 10-year-old’s body.

Chippewa County Coroner Ron Patten told The Independent on Wednesday afternoon that he expects it to be at least another day or two before preliminary findings are released.

Mr Patten said the timescale is down to the fact that officials are carrying out a full forensic autopsy with extra testing on the girl’s body.

This is standard practice when the death is considered to be a homicide, he said.

The Ramsay County Medical Examiner’s Office is conducting the autopsy but Mr Patten said the findings and report will come from his office.

What we know about the suspect

Wednesday 27 April 2022 21:36 , Rachel Sharp

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.

Prosecutors said high cash bond was necessary ‘to protect the community'

Wednesday 27 April 2022 20:58 , Rachel Sharp

In Wednesday’s court appearance, prosecutors asked the judge to set the suspect’s bond at $1m cash.

They said that the high cash bond was necessary because of the severity of the case which created a “need to protect the community” and also raised concerns that the suspect could be a flight risk.

The defence argued that, as a 14-year-old eighth-grade student who has lived in Chippewa Falls with his mother his whole life, the suspect could not be a flight risk.

The judge agreed with the prosecution, setting $1m cash bond and ordering the suspect to have no contact with juveniles and no access to dangerous weapons if he is released.

The judge said that he would allow the suspect to have contact with his siblings as long as any such visits are supervised.

Murder charge is tried in adult court

Wednesday 27 April 2022 20:25 , Rachel Sharp

The 14-year-old suspected killer has been charged with three counts of first-degree intentional homicide, first-degree sexual asssualt, and first-degree sexual asssualt of a child under age 13 resulting in great bodily harm over Lily Peters’ death.

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 then be transferred to juvenile court.

The prosecutor said in a press conference on Wednesday afternoon that it would be “premature” to speculate whether they plan to continue to try the suspect in adult court however he added that it is a “very serious case”.

The three charges against the suspect

Wednesday 27 April 2022 20:04 , Rachel Sharp

Here are the three charges against the suspect:

- First-degree intentional homicide

- First-degree sexual asssualt

- First-degree sexual asssualt of a child under age 13 resulting in great bodily harm

Next court appearance set for 5 May

Wednesday 27 April 2022 20:00 , Rachel Sharp

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

The hearing next week will make decisions around counsel being assigned to the defendant going forwards.

Suspect said his intention was ‘to rape and kill victim from get-go'

Wednesday 27 April 2022 19:46 , Rachel Sharp

The suspected killer said that “his intention was to rape and kill” Lily Peters “from the get-go” as he left the house with the 10-year-old to go along a wooded trail close to where her body was later found, according to prosecutors.

Prosecutors told the court saying that the 14-year-old suspect made statements to law enforcement outlining the shocking details of the 10-year-old’s murder.

“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,” the prosecutor said.

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”.

The suspect then sexually assaulted the 10-year-old child.

Her body was found in a wooded area close to the trail on Monday morning.

Suspect held on $1m bond

Wednesday 27 April 2022 19:22 , Megan Sheets

The juvenile suspect’s bond was set at $1m after the court was told how he allegedly led 10-year-old Lily Peters along a wooded trail where he beat, strangled and sexually assaulted her.

The Independent’s Rachel Sharp reports:

Juvenile suspect held on $1m bond for rape and murder of Lily Peters

14-year-old male suspect appears in court

Wednesday 27 April 2022 19:07 , Rachel Sharp

The suspect appeared in court for the first time on Wednesday afternoon where he was identified only as a 14-year-old male with the initials C P-B.

Due to his age and the sensitivity of the case, the judge said that media was not allowed to stream footage of the defendant or the victim’s family in the gallery.

Suspect about to appear in court

Wednesday 27 April 2022 18:48 , Rachel Sharp

The suspect in the Lily Peters’ murder case is about to appear in court for the first time for a bond hearing.

The hearing begins at 1pm CT with the suspect expected to appear via Zoom.

Court officials said that there will be no Zoom livestream for members of the media or the public to join remotely.

The suspect, who is a juvenile, will only be referred to by their initials during the court appearance, they said.

Recommendations that children don’t walk to school lifted

Wednesday 27 April 2022 18:30 , Rachel Sharp

The Chippewa Falls Area Unified School District (CFAUSD) has lifted its recommendation that children do not walk to and from school alone, following the apprehension of the sole suspect in the Lily Peters’ murder investigation.

In a letter to parents, the district said that it was no longer urging parents to pick up and drop off students at their schools, pointing to the news that the suspect is now in police custody.

On Tuesday, the district had asked parents not to let their children walk to and from school and additional law enforcement officers were drafted in to patrol local schools as the 10-year-old’s killer remained at large.

That evening, Chippewa Falls Police Chief Matthew Kelm announced that a suspect had been arrested and that he believed there was no longer any danger to the community.

What charges does the suspect face?

Wednesday 27 April 2022 18:00 , Rachel Sharp

The suspect arrested in connection to the murder of 10-year-old Lily Peters will appear in court for the first time for a bond hearing at 1pm on Wednesday afternoon, a spokesperson for Chippewa County District Attorney’s office told The Independent.

Officials have not revealed what charges the suspect is facing or whether the juvenile, whose age, gender and name has not been publicly released, will be charged as an adult.

However, police have described Lily’s death as a homicide.

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 then be transferred to juvenile court.

Watch: Police announce arrest of suspect in Lily Peter’s murder case

Wednesday 27 April 2022 17:30 , Rachel Sharp

Chippewa Falls Police Chief Matthew Kelm announced the arrest of a suspect in the investigation into Lily Peter’s murder in a press conference on Tuesday evening.

Chief Kelm said that a juvenile suspect was taken into custody earlier that evening and there is no longer any perceived danger to the community.

Watch the press conference below:

Tight-knit community rallies round after girl’s death

Wednesday 27 April 2022 17:00 , Rachel Sharp

The tight-knit Chippewa Falls community of about 13,000 people has been rallying round after the tragic killing of 10-year-old Lily Peters.

A touching memorial, with teddy bears, candles and balloons, has been growing outside Parkview Elementary School where she went to fourth grade.

Another memorial has also been set up outside the Leinenkugel Brewing Company, close to where her body was found on Monday.

Purple ribbons – Lily’s favourite colour – have been tied around lampposts in the downtown area and local businesses have put up posters in their windows featuring Lily flowers and reading “Justice for Lily”.

The Chippewa Falls Area Unified School District (CFAUSD) is urging people to wear purple on Friday “in support of Lily and her family” and a GoFundMe has been launched to help the 10-year-old’s family with funeral expenses.

A memorial along Jefferson Avenue on Monday evening close to where Lily’s body was found (AP)
A memorial along Jefferson Avenue on Monday evening close to where Lily’s body was found (AP)

Suspect to appear in court today

Wednesday 27 April 2022 16:30 , Rachel Sharp

The suspect arrested in connection to the murder of 10-year-old Lily Peters is expected to appear in court later today.

A bond hearing has been schedukled for 1pm on Wednesday afternoon, a spokesperson for Chippewa County District Attorney’s office told The Independent.

The DA’s office said that was the only information available at this time.

It is not clear what charges the juvenile suspect, whose age, gender and name has not been publicly released, is facing or if are expected to be charged as an adult.