CHIPPEWA FALLS, Wis. (NewsNation) — A juvenile has been arrested in connection to the killing of 10-year-old Lily Peters, Wisconsin police announced Tuesday night.
Police said the suspect “was not a stranger” to Peters, but did not explain their relationship.
Investigators released limited details about the arrest, saying the suspect was arrested within Chippewa Falls 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 at 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.
The community is grappling with the heartwrenching news. Details of the ongoing investigation are limited since it has been classified as a homicide. Michael Houle, a pastor at Valley Vineyard Church, helped lead a vigil for Lily Monday night.
“I think that we need to remind ourselves that they [Lily’s family] need their privacy, they need some time to process that,” Houle said on “Morning in America.” “So the advice I gave to them is just to meet them where they’re at, and to have the freedom to know they have a support system around them, which is so important. I’ve said time and time again, that grief alone is dangerous. Grief and community is where you can experience love and support.”