Police continue homicide investigation of 10-year-old girl
Police in Chippewa Falls have increased patrols around local schools as the killer of 10-year-old Liliana “Lily” Peters remains at large more than 24 hours after her body was found in a wooded area.
The police department announced that there would be an increased presence particularly around drop-off and pick-up time as the hunt for a suspect in the little girl’s death continues in the small Wisconsin city about 90 miles from Minneapolis, Minnesota.
Lily was found dead in a wooded area close to a walking trail by the Leinenkugel Brewing Company at around 9.15am on Monday morning.
Police have not revealed how she died but are treating it as a homicide investigation.
A search had been underway for the 10-year-old after she vanished on her way home from her aunt’s house on Sunday evening.
Lily’s father reported his daughter missing at around 9pm that night when she failed to return home.
K9 teams, drones and multiple law enforcement agencies were all drafted in, finding Lily’s bike on Sunday night, before her body was discovered the next morning.
In a press conference on Monday, police said the suspect was still “at large” and urged the community to be on alert.
Leinenkugel’s Brewery is helping police with investigation
Leinenkugel’s Brewery has said it is helping police with the murder investigation of Lily Peters, after the 10-year-old’s body was discovered in a wooded area close to the building.
The company released a statement calling Lily’s death an “unspeakable, heartbreaking tragedy” and sending its condolences to the girl’s grieving family.
“This is an unspeakable, heartbreaking tragedy, and we want to express our deepest condolences to the family and friends of the victim,” the statement read.
“We are working with the authorities, and providing the help and support we can.”
Investigators set up a mobile command centre in the parking lot of the brewery on Monday as they processed the scene where Lily’s body was discovered.
Rachel Sharp26 April 2022 23:25
Map of Lily Peters’ route home and where her body was found
Police said that Lily Peters left her aunt’s home on North Grove Street on Sunday to head back to her home at East Birch Street.
She had her bike with her.
Taking the most direct route, the journey is a roughly six-minute walk or two-minute cycle.
When Lily failed to arrive home, her father called 911 and reported her missing at 9pm.
Her body was discovered close to the Duncan Creek Trail, near the Leinenkugel’s Brewery, on Monday morning.
The brewery is not along Lily’s route home.
It is not clear if she went to that area of her own accord on leaving her aunt’s house or if she was taken there by her killer – either when she was still alive or after she was murdered.
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
Pictured: Map showing the most direct journey from Lily’s aunt’s house to her own home
Rachel Sharp26 April 2022 22:45
Chippewa Falls Police to hold press conference at 6.30pm CT
Chippewa Falls Police Chief Matthew Kelm will hold a press conference at 6.30pm CT on Tuesday evening to update the public about the investigation into Lily Peters’ murder.
The press conference will take place at the Chippewa Falls Fire Department.
Check back here for updates.
Rachel Sharp26 April 2022 22:05
Parents urged not to let children walk home from school as security is ramped up
Parents have been urged not to let their children walk to and from school as the killer of 10-year-old Lily Peters remains at large.
The Chippewa Falls Area Unified School District sent a letter to families recommending “as a precautionary measure” that students are picked up and dropped off at their schools “by trusted family members or friends until further notice”.
Parents are asked to contact the schools to notify officials of these designated individuals.
The CFAUSD reassured parents that all schools are on high alert and that additional law enforcement presence had been requested to patrol the buildings.
Police do not believe there is a need for schools to be on lockdown at this time, the letter said.
The district urged students and parents to stay “vigilant and alert” and to report anything unusual to the police.
Chippewa Falls Police Department announced that it was increasing the presence of officers at local schools.
Rachel Sharp26 April 2022 21:35
State Senator Jeff Smith speaks of ‘tragic loss’
Wisconsin State Senator Jeff Smith has said his thoughts are with the family of Lily Peters as he called her death a “tragic loss”.
“My thoughts are with Lily Peters’ family and the Chippewa Falls community. There is help available to support those grappling with this tragic loss,” he said on Twitter on Tuesday afternoon.
His tribute came as – more than 24 hours on from the discovery of the 10-year-old’s body – police have revealed few details about the investigation into her death.
Rachel Sharp26 April 2022 21:05
Community ‘devastated’ by girl’s murder
The tight-knit community of Chippewa Falls has been left “devastated” by the murder of 10-year-old Lily Peters.
A resident, who asked not to be named, told The Independent that everyone was in shock after the body of the missing girl was discovered close to the Duncan Creek Trail, near the Leinenkugel’s Brewery, on Monday morning.
“It’s devastating,” said the woman, who says she knows Lily’s family.
“We are all devastated.”
Chippewa Falls is a small city in Wisconsin home to around 13,000 people and is located around 90 miles east of the Minnesota Twin Cities.
Rachel Sharp26 April 2022 20:35
Unanswered questions surrounding 10-year-old’s death
Few details are known about Lily Peters’ death and the police investigation but more than 24 hours on from the discovery of her body, no suspects have been named and no arrests made.
There are several questions surrounding the case, several of which Chippewa Falls Police Chief Matthew Kelm refused to be drawn on in a press conference on Monday.
Here are some of the key unanswered questions in the case:
– The time she was last seen alive: Before her body was discovered, police said that Lily was reported missing at 9pm on Sunday after she left her aunt’s house to return home but failed to show. When asked what time she left her aunt’s house, Chief Kelm said on Monday evening that he could not go into detail because it is an active investigation.
– How Lily died and why her death is being investigated as a homicide: Police are investigating Lily’s death as a homicide and are searching for a killer who could pose a danger to the community. However it is not clear how they arrived at that conclusion. Police have not revealed what evidence led them to believe it was a homicide or what her cause of death is.
– Whether Lily knew her killer: The police chief was asked at the press conference if Lily may have known her killer. He said he could not say however, at that time, he said police had no known suspects and urged the community to be vigilant.
Rachel Sharp26 April 2022 20:05
Family members comfort each other at prayer vigil
Community members attended an emotional prayer vigil on Monday night after word spread that the body of missing 10-year-old Lily Peters had been found in a wooded area that morning.
Lily’s grieving family members were seen hugging each other during the vigil at Valley Vineyard Church, while dozens of local residents prayed and left stuffed animals at the altar.
Pastor Michael Houle said he wanted to give shocked community members “a space to pray and just connect and just kind of grieve together”.
“Grief is hard alone. It’s a lot better done in community,” he told CBS Minnesota.
Rachel Sharp26 April 2022 19:35
Petition launched for ‘Lily Alert’ after girl’s disappearance ‘did not meet criteria for Amber alert’
A Change.org petition to create a “Lily Alert” in memory of Lily Peters reached 21,000 signatures and counting on Tuesday as questions mounted over the initial search for the 10-year-old girl.
On Monday morning – several hours after Lily was reported missing around 9pm on Sunday night when she failed to return home – Chippewa Falls Police Department said in a media release that her disappearance did “not meet criteria for an Amber Alert”.
An Amber Alert is an emergency alert system asking the public for help in finding an abducted child.
Police later announced that the body of the missing girl had been found in a wooded area and that her death was being treated as a homicide.
“I’d like to formally start a petition to create a Lily alert. A 10 year old girl went missing in Chippewa falls, Wisconsin. The child was reported missing after a bike ride to her aunt’s house. She was reported missing around 9pm. Her bike and body where located the next morning,” the petition reads.
“The police called it a homicide. An amber alert was never sent due to the rules. We need something more. Any parent would agree that when a child is missing even for a short amount of time and they need help then help should be sent.
“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.”
Rachel Sharp26 April 2022 19:05
Police to give update on case on Tuesday evening
Police are expected to give an update on the investigation into Lily Peters’ death on Tuesday evening as the hunt for her killer continues.
The Independent has contacted the Chippewa Falls Police Department for further information on the case as no arrests have been made, no suspects named and officials have warned the public to remain on alert.
A spokesperson responded to a request for information, simply saying that the department plans to put out a press release update on developments in the case later this evening.
Check back here for further information.
Rachel Sharp26 April 2022 18:35