Suspect arrested after Chippewa Falls girl’s body found in Wisconsin wooded area

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CHIPPEWA Falls police have announced an arrest in the search for Lily Peters’ killer after her body was found in a wooded area in Wisconsin.

The suspect is reportedly a juvenile who “was not a stranger to Lily,” according to police, but authorities did not provide any additional information about the suspect, including their age.

“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.

The body of Lily Peters was discovered in a wooded area not far from her bike on Monday morning outside the Lienenkugel’s Brewery in Chippewa Falls, a few blocks from her Wisconsin home.

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.

Her death has been compared to the 1996 case of Amber Hagerman, 9, who was snatched from her bike and found dead days later, inspiring the Amber Alert system.

Read our Lily Peters live blog for the latest updates…

  • 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.

  • ‘Juvenile’ suspect

    Chippewa Falls Police Chief Matt Kelm revealed they had a “juvenile suspect” in custody on Tuesday, a day after the body of Lily 10, was discovered just a few blocks north of her home.

  • Parkview Elementary responds, continued

    “We do not plan to formally announce what happened, as we are not privy to those details – we believe that law enforcement needs to be the ones to decide what or how much to share in that regard.

    The administration went on to say that counseling services would be made available to students as they deal with the tragedy.

  • Parkview Elementary responds

    A warning was issued by Lily’s school, Parkview Elementary, with the administration recommending that parents refrain from letting their children walk to school alone.

    “By now, you have most likely heard about the tragic incident that occurred last night into today, claiming the life of a CFAUSD student,” the school’s superintendent Jeff Holmes said in a Monday statement to parents.

  • Who was Lily Peters?

    Lily was a fourth-grader at Parkview Elementary School.

    Police have ruled her death a homicide after finding the child’s body in a wooded area Monday morning.

  • When was Lily Peters’ body found?

    The body of Lily Peters was discovered in a wooded area not far from her bike on Monday morning outside the Lienenkugel’s Brewery in Chippewa Falls.

    It was found just a few blocks from her Wisconsin home.

  • Will suspect face charges?

    Chippewa Falls Police Chief Matthew Kelm said that the suspect is in custody, but declined to comment on whether or not criminal charges had been filed in this matter.

  • Danger to the community?

    During the press conference held on April 26, Police Chief Matthew Kelm said of the suspect arrested in Lily Peters’ death: “The suspect was not a stranger, the suspect was known to the victim.”

    “We do not believe there is any danger to the community at this time.”

  • More memorials for Lily

    More people have taken to the streets to put up signs, ribbons, and balloons in memory of Lily.

  • Tourists told not to drive down scene

    A message that appears to have been originally posted on Facebook was tweeted and asked tourists to “please stop driving down the 400 block of N. Grove st. Down to the crime scene at the dead end.”

    That area was blocked off by police.

  • Purple ribbons for Lily

    Chippewa Falls people flocked to the city’s downtown on Tuesday afternoon to tie purple ribbons to lampposts in memory of Lily Peters.

  • How many tips did police receive?

    Police Chief Matthew Kelm said in a press conference that authorities got about 200 tips.

    He said that tips were “critical to solving the case.”

  • Who is the suspect?

    During the press conference held on April 26, Police Chief Matthew Kelm said: “The suspect was not a stranger, the suspect was known to the victim.

    “We do not believe there is any danger to the community at this time.”

    The suspect’s identity was not publicized, nor was it revealed how the suspect and Lily knew each other.

    He said that the suspect is in custody and declined to comment on whether or not criminal charges had been filed.

  • Reddit thread posted on Twitter

    HomesliceNation4 wrote on a Reddit thread about Lily Peters’ murder claiming that they saw Lily on the trails with another minor.

    “I’ll kill my cousins before anyone gets a chance,” said the same account two years ago.

  • Lily’s aunt’s house blocked by police

    Fox9 reported Rob Olsen tweeted that the block on Grove Street in Chippewa Falls is blocked by police cars and vans. He says that the street was not blocked earlier.

  • More memorials at the scene

    A memorial was created near where Lily’s body was found.

  • Memorial set up outside Chippewa school

    In a tweet from Spectrum News Wisconsin, the outlet reported that the Chippewa Falls community has set up a memorial for Lily outside a school.

  • Locals say woods where Lily died were popular

    According to neighbors, the trail through the woods where she was discovered is frequently frequented by youngsters on bikes and people jogging or walking, reported CBS Local Minnesota.

  • What does the Change.org petition say?

    The petition, which was launched by Eric Henry on April 25, said: “An amber alert was never sent due to the rules around what constitutes its use.

    “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. We need an alert with less regulations around it so we can respond quicker to missing children.”

  • Petition for ‘Lily Alert’

    On April 26, a Change.org petition to create a “Lily Alert” in Lily Peters’ memory surpassed 33,500 signatures, raising doubts about the initial search for the 10-year-old child.

    Chippewa Falls Police Department indicated in a media statement on April 25 morning, many hours after Lily was reported missing around 9pm on the night after she failed to return home, that her disappearance “did not meet the criteria for an Amber Alert.”

  • Velley Vineyard Church pastor speaks

    Michael Houle, a senior pastor at Valley Vineyard Church in Chippewa Falls, where Lily’s relatives attend, told CNN that the church has opened its doors to the community as a safe place to grieve.

    He said: “Our mission is to reach out to our community in a positive way and to be a light in Chippewa Falls during this difficult time.

    “We live in very generous town. Our community is coming together to meet the needs of family, community members, schools, and first responders.

    “This is just the start and will be an ongoing process over the next weeks.”

  • Local businesses assist in investigation

    The Wisconsin Division of Criminal Probe and the Wisconsin State Crime Laboratories are among the authorities working with the investigation, according to CNN.

    According to Chippewa Falls Police Chief Matthew Kelm, Lily’s family is working with victim advocates, and the school district where she attended fourth grade claimed it is “working closely with the police” in a Facebook post.

  • Possible danger to the public

    Chippewa Falls Police Chief Matthew Kelm said that the public may still be in danger as there is still no suspect in custody, according to CNN.

    “The simple fact is that we have not made an arrest in this case, so the suspect is still at large,” he said.

    “So in that case, we just want to be extra vigilant and make sure that if there are any tips, anyone has any information, to go ahead and call that tip line.”



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