Teenage brothers charged with killing girl

2012-10-24 14:03

Clayton — A teenage boy lured a 12-year-old girl into his house under the guise of getting parts for her treasured bicycle and then, with his older brother, killed her, police said on Tuesday.

The girl's disappearance had sparked a frantic search by residents of her small New Jersey town until a tip from the boys' mother led police to her body, stuffed into a home recycling bin.

The boys, ages 15 and 17, were charged with murdering Autumn Pasquale, who disappeared while riding her BMX bike on Saturday, a little more than a week before what would have been her 13th birthday. She appeared to have been strangled, Gloucester County prosecutor Sean Dalton said at a late-day news conference.

The boys' mother had come forward with information about a posting on a son's Facebook account, Dalton said. He wouldn't say what was on the website or discuss a possible motive for the killing, but said there was no sign of sexual assault.

Autumn was lured to the house, where they apparently lived with their mother and stepfather, for the purpose of getting parts for her treasured BMX bike, which she rode frequently and talked about on her Facebook pages.

Both brothers were charged with counts including first-degree murder, body disposal and tampering with evidence. The 15-year-old was also charged with luring.

Suspects attended vigil

The boys' names were not released because they are juveniles, but Dalton said his office is considering trying to have the case transferred to adult court. The boys turned themselves in with their attorneys, public defenders, but it could not be immediately determined who they are.

The girl's body was found on Monday night in a recycling bin on a vacant property next to the home where the boys live, police said. The suspects had attended a community vigil for her shortly before the discovery, several residents said.

Autumn's BMX bike and other belongings were recovered from the boys' home, the prosecutor said. He did not detail all the items, but a backpack matching a description of the girl's was also seen being taken out.

One of the three teenage brothers who friends said live at the house traded BMX bike parts, according to a according to a young man, Corey Hewes, aged 19, who said he was among those who traded with him.

Neighbours also said the house was a place where teens frequently hung out and had parties.

The home is just blocks from Autumn's house and from the town hall, where thousands of people gathered for the tearful candlelight vigil to pray for her safe return in this town of 8 000 about 40km south of Philadelphia.

  • mable.jacobs.90 - 2012-10-24 14:36

    I think it's high time the world ended.What's next???

  • Jordi - 2012-10-24 14:39

    This world is become so sick!! RIP

  • lielie.smit - 2012-10-24 15:28

    This really sucks big time!

  • hein.heine - 2012-10-24 16:18

    What is a 12 year old girl doing on facebook??? I won't be surprised if they used facebook to lure her to the house....

      Sharon Gien-Cambier - 2012-10-25 06:46

      u will be shocked to know just how many 12 year olds or younger are on Facebook with false info.

  • susan.paul.330 - 2012-10-24 17:23

    13 year old on facebook, i think not...

  • michael.i.wright - 2012-10-24 18:37

    Nice to see that the media has leaped in to cover up the ID of the killers. As of tomorrow, they will forget this story exists.

  • samgaf - 2012-10-24 19:55

    what kind of parents do these kids have???

  • paige.kandlin - 2012-10-24 21:36

    Police in the USA have arrested a 17 year old (turned in by his own mother) for the murder (and rape and dismemberment) of 10 year old Jessica Ridgeway. he's charged with another count of first degree murder too. how anyone could do such a thing let alone a 17 year old!! its heartrending.

  • duncan.gill1 - 2012-10-24 21:57

    Only in the US of A......!!!!!!!!!!

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