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CHIPPEWA Falls police have arrested a suspect in the Lily Peters case — a 14-year-old boy who allegedly sexually assaulted and strangled her to death.
At a court hearing where a a $1million bond was handed down for the suspect, District Attorney Wade Newell said of the juvenile male that his intention was to “rape and kill her from the get-go.”
Previously, the suspect was revealed to be a juvenile who “was not a stranger to Lily,” according to police, but authorities did not reveal a name or other details.
“While nothing will bring Lily Peters back, or change what happened, we are very grateful to be able to deliver this news for the family and for the community,” said Chippewa Falls Police Chief Matt Kelm.
Lily was riding her bike four blocks from her aunt’s house to her house, but the little girl never arrived and her father reported her missing.
Read our Lily Peters live blog for the latest updates…
Where can public send in tips?
Anyone with information can call the Chippewa Falls Police Department’s non-emergency line at 715-723-4424, then dial #1.
Police urge public to continue cooperating
Even after the suspect’s arrest, Chippewa Falls Police continue to solicit the public for information concerning Lily Peters’ murder, per the Independent.
On April 26, Police Chief Matthew Kelm stated that the investigation is still in its early stages and that authorities are working to establish a case against her accused killer.
Danger warnings lifted in Chippewa Falls
Following the arrest of the single suspect in the Lily Peters’ murder case, the Chippewa Falls Area Unified School District has rescinded its suggestion that students should not travel to and from school alone.
The district announced in a message to parents that it was no longer asking parents to pick up and drop off students at their schools, citing the news that the suspect had been apprehended by police, per the Independent.
Court appearance set for May
The suspect is due in court again on Thursday, May 5 at 3.30pm CT.
The decision on whether or not the defendant will be appointed representation in the future will be made at the hearing next week.
The minor faces charges of first-degree intentional killing, first-degree sexual assault, and first-degree sexual assault resulting in serious bodily damage to a child under the age of 13.
Two of the three counts, according to District Attorney Wade Newell, carry a possible sentence of life in prison.
District attorney reveals suspect’s intention
District Attorney Wade Newell said in court: “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 14-year-old, who is in eighth grade, allegedly punched and knocked Lily to the ground before hitting her with a stick, according to Newell.
Newell also said the suspect then strangled her to death and sexually assaulted her.
How old is the suspect?
The minor accused of murdering 10-year-old Lily Peters is 14 years old.
24-hour Twitter silence for Lily
Many users have decided to partake in a 24-hour moment of silence in honor of Lily.
Lily’s autopsy may take days
On April 27, Chippewa County Coroner Ron Patten told The Independent that preliminary findings will not be disclosed for at least another day or two.
Patten explained that the delay is due to officials conducting a comprehensive forensic autopsy as well as further tests on the girl’s remains.
When a death is suspected of being a homicide, this is the usual procedure, he explained.
Chilling ‘confession’ of alleged ‘killer,’ continued
Newell alleged that the 14-year-old, who is an eighth-grader, punched and knocked Lily Peters to the ground before hitting her with a stick.
He then allegedly strangled her to death and sexually assaulted her.
The teen is charged with 1st-degree intentional homicide, 1st-degree sexual assault, and 1st-degree sexual assault of a child under the age of 13 resulting in great bodily harm.
Chilling ‘confession’ of Lily Peters’ alleged ‘killer’
The 14-year-old suspect in the Lily Peters case allegedly told cops that he intended to rape and kill the 10-year-old.
District Attorney Wade Newell said in court on Wednesday: “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.”
Suspect to return to court
The suspect in the Lily Peters’ case has another court date set for next month.
He is due back in court on May 5, at 3.30pm.
‘This was a serious threat’
At the hearing on Wednesday, Judge Ben Lane was quoted as saying: “This was a serious threat to the community, so the court is concerned this could be a further threat if released.”
A $1million cash bond was ordered for the suspect, along with conditions of no contact with juveniles or possession of dangerous weapons.
‘From the get-go’
Prosectuors indicated the suspect in Lily Peters’ death had planned to kill her prior to the attack, saying, “he wanted to rape and kill her from the get-go.”
They alleged the juvenile punched Peters in the stomach, knocked her down, and strangled her nearly to death before he raped her, according to NBC15.
For conditions of the $1million bond, the state also requested that the 14-year-old suspect has no contact with any juveniles and does not possess any dangerous weapons, KARE11 reported.
Judge issues $1 million bond for suspect
The suspect in the death of Iliana “Lily” Peters appeared in court in Chippewa County District Court via video call on Wednesday afternoon, KARE11 reported.
At the bail hearing, the state asked for a $1 million cash bond for the suspect.
Suspect revealed to be male
Prosecutors have identified the suspect in Lily Peters’s death only through his initials and as a 14-year-old boy, Fox News reported on Wednesday.
Autopsy being performed
An autopsy will be performed on Lily Peters and results could come very soon, Fox News reported.
Lily’s remains were sent across state lines to Ramsey County, Minnesota, which includes the city of St Paul, for the autopsy.
It will be performed there and officials in that area said the results would be announced by authorities in her hometown.
Amber alert not used for Lily
The AMBER alert was not sounded when Lily’s dad reported her missing Sunday night after she did not come home from her four-block bike ride between her aunt’s house and her house.
“That should’ve been activated immediately,” said former FBI agent Jennifer Coffindaffer, alluding to the AMBER alert. “Cell phones should’ve been lighting up.
“All police needed was a description of the missing girl. Once they found her bike, they knew it was foul play and the AMBER alert should’ve been sounded,” she said.
The AMBER alert
The AMBER — America’s Missing: Broadcast Emergency Response — alert was put in place the same year Amber went missing.
It’s now used throughout the US, DC, Puerto Rico, Virgin Islands, and nearly 30 other countries and is activated in the most serious child-abduction cases.
The alert is most notably sent out as an ear-splitting noise on cell phones — as well as radio, TV and road signs — to grab the attention of people near the suspected abduction and the local media.
As of December 31, 2021, 1,111 children have been recovered because of the AMBER alert, according to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.
Lily Peters compared to Amber Hagerman, continued
Although the pattern was similar, it’s “highly unlikely” that both girls were murdered by the same person because of the length of time and distance between cases, Coffindaffer told The Sun.
Previously, the former FBI agent said the similarities suggested there was “likely” a predator hunting in the small Wisconsin town of Chippewa Falls, but a suspect has now been arrested who was “known” to Lily Peters and is a “juvenile.”
Lily Peters compared to Amber Hagerman
Amber was the first person former FBI agent Jennifer Coffindaffer thought of after learning about Lily’s tragic death.
Both girls were about the same age when they were found dead after riding their bicycles.
Their bodies were also dumped in secluded wooded areas, Coffindaffer said.
“The killer’s modus operendi were the same in both cases,” she said.
What happened to Amber Hagerman?
In January 1996, nine-year-old Amber Hagerman‘s body was found near a stream a couple days after she was snatched off her bicycle more than 1,000 miles away in Arlington Texas.
No arrests were ever made in the case, but it inspired the Amber Alert, which is a message distributed by a child abduction alert system that asks the public for help in finding kids.
Did the suspect know Lily?
Police Chief Matthew Kelm said that the suspect knew the victim at Tuesday’s press conference.