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Autopsy Shows Lily Peters Died From Strangulation, Blunt Force Trauma

The 10-year-old girl, who went missing on Sunday and was discovered murdered on Monday, died from blunt force trauma and strangulation, according to a newly released autopsy report from the Chippewa County Coroner’s Office.

By Dorian Geiger
10-Year-Old Wisconsin Girl Found Dead In Woods

Lily Peters, the 10-year-old Wisconsin girl who was found dead in a wooded area earlier this week, died from blunt force trauma and strangulation, officials said.

The Chippewa County Coroner’s Office confirmed the findings Thursday evening, CNN reported. Coroner Ron Patten ruled her death a homicide. Toxicology results are now pending.

Prosecutors revealed in court earlier this week the 10-year-old girl had also been beaten and raped.

Patten didn’t respond to multiple emails and phone calls this week requesting more information regarding the open investigation into the Wisconsin girl’s death.

Peters was found slain near a wooded footpath adjacent to a brewery parking lot in Chippewa Falls on April 25. The 10-year-old had been reported missing a day earlier by family after leaving her aunt’s home.

Missing girl Lily Peters

The Chippewa Falls Police Department arrested a 14-year-old boy on Tuesday in Peters’ murder. He’s 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, the boy could be tried as an adult on the homicide charge, though prosecutors haven’t yet indicated whether they will pursue prosecution in adult court, KARE reported. If convicted as an adult, he faces the possibility of life in prison.

The unidentified minor, who knew Peters, allegedly confessed to investigators.

“The suspect was not a stranger,” Chippewa Falls Police Chief Matthew Kelm told the media on Monday evening. “The suspect was known to the victim.” 

Chippewa County District Attorney Wade Newell characterized Peters’ slaying as premeditated during the juvenile suspect’s initial court appearance this week.

Prosecutors accused the minor suspect of striking Peters in her stomach before he “hit her with a stick, before strangling her to the point of death.”

“He then sexually assaulted her,” Newell stated in court, per CNN.

Missing girl Lily Peters

Authorities had received roughly 200 tips from local citizens prior to taking the 14-year-old suspect into custody.

“These tips were critical to solving this case,” Kelm added. 

No additional information was immediately released in the ongoing investigation. The court records for the case against the boy remain sealed.

A spokesperson for the Chippewa County District Attorney’s Office also declined to comment on the open case on Friday morning. 

Peters’ murder stunned Chippewa Falls, a small city of roughly 14,000 in eastern Wisconsin. The tiny but resilient community, however, has rallied around Peters’ family, including her surviving siblings. 

It’s shocking,” Teri Ouimette, the executive director of Chippewa Falls Main Street, told Oxygen.com this week. “There’s not much more you can say about that, there’s no words.”

Peters was a fourth grader at Parkview Elementary in Chippewa Falls. A myriad of memorials have since been set up for Peters at various sites throughout the community, including her school, and other public gathering spots. 

“People are gathering and comforting each other and we will definitely get through this and be a stronger community for it,” Ouimette added. “Everyone is still kind of shell shocked…we have no answers. I don’t know if we’ll ever get any.”

The juvenile suspect’s next court date is scheduled for May 5. He’s being held on a $1 million bond.

His public defender, Karl Schmidt, declined to comment on the allegations earlier this week when contacted by Oxygen.com.

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