CHIPPEWA FALLS, Wis. (NewsNation) — A juvenile has been arrested in connection to the death of 10-year-old Lily Peters, Chippewa Falls Police announced Tuesday night.
Police said the suspect “was not a stranger” to Peters, but did not explain their relationship.
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Investigators released limited details about the arrest, saying the suspect was arrested within city limits and that Lily’s family is aware he is in custody.
Lily was found dead near a wooded trail in Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin, just north of Eau Claire.
She was reported missing by her father Sunday evening. Lily’s father says the fourth-grader did not return home that night after a visit to her aunt’s house on Grove Street about five blocks away.
As the investigation unfolded, police officers discovered a bicycle in the woods near the walking trail between the end of North Grove Street and a brewery parking lot. From there, numerous law enforcement agencies scoured the area searching for the child.
At around 9:15 a.m. Monday, the 10-year-old’s body was found in the wooded area near the walking trail.
Chippewa Falls Police called the killing a very rare occurrence for the town.
“The people of our community are honest, hardworking and kind-hearted. It is almost impossible to believe that something this horrific could happen in our city,” the police chief said.
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The community is grappling with the heartwrenching news. Details of the ongoing investigation are limited since it has been classified as a homicide.