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.
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. It 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
Police have no suspects in homicide of 10-year-old girl
Investigators have no suspects in the homicide of 10-year-old Lily Peters, Chippewa Falls Police Chief Matthew Kelm admitted on Monday.
At a press conference, the police chief said that the killer is still “at large” with no one taken into custody in connection to her death.
Investigators are following up on multiple leads, he said.
The local community has been warned to remain vigilant as the killer could pose an ongoing danger to the public.
As a result, the police have increased patrols around local schools – specifically at pick-up and drop-off times.
Rachel Sharp26 April 2022 18:05
Woods where body found was popular among kids, say locals
The wooded area where Lily Peters’ body was discovered is a popular spot for local children to play, according to shocked Chippewa Falls residents.
Locals told CBS Minnesota kids would always ride their bikes along the trail while adults would go for walks or exercise.
Jeremy Machnik’s said his own children, who go to the same school as Lily, would often play outside on the street near the trail.
He said he saw Lily “and her cousins all the time, either biking, rollerblading on a hoverboard, going up and down the street”.
“They sled in the back hill of our yard, and she’s always happy, always happy, even if it’s 15 degrees and snowing out, I see them bundled up with their sleds coming down the street when it’s snowing out. They were always outside, always playing, always happy,” he said, adding that it is usually “a great neighborhood”
Police said Lily left her aunt’s house on Sunday evening to ride home on her bike.
Search teams first found Lily’s bike close to the walking trail in the woods on Sunday night before finding her body the next morning.
Rachel Sharp26 April 2022 17:35
Memorial set up outside school for Lily Peters
A touching memorial was set up outside Lily Peters’ school as community members paid tribute to the slain 10-year-old.
A large purple banner reading “Justice for Lily” and featuring a picture of a lily was pinned to the fencing around her elementary school.
Teddy bears, balloons and candles were also left at the scene.
Rachel Sharp26 April 2022 17:11
Police increase presence around local schools as hunt for killer continues
Chippewa Falls Police Department has increased the presence of law enforcement officers around local schools as the hunt for Lily Peters’ killer enters its second day.
“You may notice an increased law enforcement presence around our schools,” the department said in a post on its Facebook page on Tuesday morning.
“We will be increasing our patrol especially during drop-off and pick-up times.”
Lily was found dead on Monday morning in a wooded area hours after she was reported missing by her father on Sunday night when she failed to return home from her aunt’s house.
Police have called her death a homicide and warned that – with no suspect in custody – there could be an ongoing threat to the community.
Rachel Sharp26 April 2022 16:30
Community reels after body of Lily Peters is found
Community members have been left reeling and in a state of shock after the body of 10-year-old Lily Peters was found in a wooded area in Chippewa Falls on Monday morning.
Amanda Behm, who has lived in Chippewa Falls her whole life and now brings up her own children there, questioned who could hurt the “poorl little 10-year-old girl”.
“This poor little 10-year-old girl, who does that? It is just so hard. Everybody I know and don’t know are messaging me and saying watch your kids,” she told WIProud.
She said she and her children had paid tribute to Lily as memorials sprung up around the local area.
“My kids were with me so we went out and we colored her name, and let people know, hey, kids live here, and we will be on alert,” she said.
Rachel Sharp26 April 2022 16:02
Parents sent letter by police
Parents in Chippewa Falls were told by the police department on Monday that they “should be the ones to share and engage in discussion with their children about this tragic event to the greatest extent possible”, according to a letter shared on social media.
The letter, which was obtained by WCCO, said additional support would be on offer for those students who needed it, and that police would work to reassure students and staff in the aftermath of Lily Peters’ death.
Lily was a fourth grade student at Parkview Elementary School, and according to the news outlet staff will meet on Tuesday to decide how to deal with the death and ongoing homicide investigation.
Gino Spocchia26 April 2022 15:07
Recap: School district issues statement
The Chippewa Falls school district said in a statement on Monday that it was working closely with the police investigation into Lily Peters’ death.
“If you have any information please contact the Chippewa Falls Police Department directly. Our thoughts are with the family during this difficult time,” the school district said.
Gino Spocchia26 April 2022 14:37