Police continue homicide investigation of 10-year-old girl
Police in Chippewa Falls have increased patrols around local schools as the killer of 10-year-old Liliana “Lily” Peters remains at large more than 24 hours after her body was found in a wooded area.
The police department announced that there would be an increased presence particularly around drop-off and pick-up time as the hunt for a suspect in the little girl’s death continues in the small city about 90 miles east of Minneapolis, Minnesota.
Lily was found dead in a wooded area close to a walking trail by the Leinenkugel Brewing Company at around 9.15am on Monday morning.
Police have not revealed how she died but are treating it as a homicide investigation.
A search had been underway for the 10-year-old after she vanished on her way home from her aunt’s house on Sunday evening.
Lily’s father reported his daughter missing at around 9pm that night when she failed to return home.
K9 teams, drones and multiple law enforcement agencies were all drafted in, finding Lily’s bike on Sunday night, before her body was discovered the next morning.
In a press conference on Monday, police said the suspect was still “at large” and urged the community to be on alert.
Woods where body found was popular among kids, say locals
The wooded area where Lily Peters’ body was discovered is a popular spot for local children to play, according to shocked Chippewa Falls residents.
Locals told CBS Minnesota kids would always ride their bikes along the trail while adults would go for walks or exercise.
Jeremy Machnik’s said his own children, who go to the same school as Lily, would often play outside on the street near the trail.
He said he saw Lily “and her cousins all the time, either biking, rollerblading on a hoverboard, going up and down the street”.
“They sled in the back hill of our yard, and she’s always happy, always happy, even if it’s 15 degrees and snowing out, I see them bundled up with their sleds coming down the street when it’s snowing out. They were always outside, always playing, always happy,” he said, adding that it is usually “a great neighbourhood”
Police said Lily left her aunt’s house on Sunday evening to ride home on her bike.
Search teams first found Lily’s bike close to the walking trail in the woods on Sunday night before finding her body the next morning.
Rachel Sharp26 April 2022 17:35
Memorial set up outside school for Lily Peters
A touching memorial was set up outside Lily Peters’ school as community members paid tribute to the slain 10-year-old.
A large purple banner reading “Justice for Lily” and featuring a picture of a lily was pinned to the fencing around her elementary school.
Teddy bears, balloons and candles were also left at the scene.
Rachel Sharp26 April 2022 17:11
Police increase presence around local schools as hunt for killer continues
Chippewa Falls Police Department has increased the presence of law enforcement officers around local schools as the hunt for Lily Peters’ killer enters its second day.
“You may notice an increased law enforcement presence around our schools,” the department said in a post on its Facebook page on Tuesday morning.
“We will be increasing our patrol especially during drop-off and pick-up times.”
Lily was found dead on Monday morning in a wooded area hours after she was reported missing by her father on Sunday night when she failed to return home from her aunt’s house.
Police have called her death a homicide and warned that – with no suspect in custody – there could be an ongoing threat to the community.
Rachel Sharp26 April 2022 16:30
Community reels after body of Lily Peters is found
Community members have been left reeling and in a state of shock after the body of 10-year-old Lily Peters was found in a wooded area in Chippewa Falls on Monday morning.
Amanda Behm, who has lived in Chippewa Falls her whole life and now brings up her own children there, questioned who could hurt the “poorl little 10-year-old girl”.
“This poor little 10-year-old girl, who does that? It is just so hard. Everybody I know and don’t know are messaging me and saying watch your kids,” she told WIProud.
She said she and her children had paid tribute to Lily as memorials sprung up around the local area.
“My kids were with me so we went out and we colored her name, and let people know, hey, kids live here, and we will be on alert,” she said.
Rachel Sharp26 April 2022 16:02
Parents sent letter by police
Parents in Chippewa Falls were told by the police department on Monday that they “should be the ones to share and engage in discussion with their children about this tragic event to the greatest extent possible”, according to a letter shared on social media.
The letter, which was obtained by WCCO, said additional support would be on offer for those students who needed it, and that police would work to reassure students and staff in the aftermath of Lily Peters’ death.
Lily was a fourth grade student at Parkview Elementary School, and according to the news outlet staff will meet on Tuesday to decide how to deal with the death and ongoing homicide investigation.
Gino Spocchia26 April 2022 15:07
Recap: School district issues statement
The Chippewa Falls school district said in a statement on Monday that it was working closely with the police investigation into Lily Peters’ death.
“If you have any information please contact the Chippewa Falls Police Department directly. Our thoughts are with the family during this difficult time,” the school district said.
Gino Spocchia26 April 2022 14:37
Recap: Everything we know so far
Lily was reportedly visiting her aunt’s house on Sunday, and left on her bicycle to return home sometime on Sunday evening. When she did not arrive home, her father became worried and called the police.
Her body was found in a wooded area near Duncan Creek Trail, Chippewa Falls, police said Monday. The case is now being treated as a homicide investigation.
Gino Spocchia26 April 2022 14:07
Memorial at the scene
A memorial to the 10-year-old, Lily Peters, was created not far from where she was last seen in Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin, on Sunday evening.
Flowers and soft toys have been left at the scene, as well as a chalk drawing with the words: “Fly high Lily”, as seen in images below.
Police are still searching for a suspect in the homicide after a body found on Monday morning was confirmed to be that of Lily.
Gino Spocchia26 April 2022 13:37
Community will ‘overcome this fear’, say police
The head of the police department in Chippewa Falls said he believed the community could “overcome this fear” following the death of Lily Peters.
“An event like this threatens our sense of security”, said Chippewa Falls Police Chief Matthew Kelm on Monday. “However I believe we will come together as a community to overcome this fear”.
He appeared to address concerns among residents about the hiking trail where Lily allegedly disappeared from on Sunday night, and was found on Monday.
Mr Kelm dd not provide details about how Lily died, although the death is being treated as a homicide and police are looking for a suspect. Neither was it clear what evidence was found at the scene.
Gino Spocchia26 April 2022 13:07
Parents react to death: ‘It’s just sad’
Chippewa Falls parents have spoken of their surprise and shock at the death of Lily Peters.
Shelby Machnik, who said her three children often played with Lily, told WCCO on Monday that she “always seemed really happy”.
“I know that my kids loved her,” said Ms Machnik. “Anytime she would come over they were outside hanging out with her, she always seemed really happy. It’s just sad”.
The mother said her children also used the same walking trail near to where Lily’s body was found by police.
Gino Spocchia26 April 2022 12:37