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14-year-old suspect in Lily Peters killing told investigators he strangled and sexually assaulted her, prosecutors say

Prosecutors said Wednesday that the 14-year-old suspect in the death of 10-year-old Iliana “Lily” Peters told investigators he punched, strangled and sexually assaulted her, according to CBS Minnesota. Peters was found dead in Wisconsin on Monday after her family had reported her missing the day before. 

Prosecutors said the boy admitted that he’d been planning to rape and kill Peters “from the get-go” on Sunday night, when he began following her down a trail after she left her aunt’s home, CBS Minnesota said. 

“Protection of (the) community also is necessary in this case given his statements regarding his intentions and his statements regarding that when he did get off the trail, he punched the victim in the stomach, knocked her to the ground, essentially strangled her, hit her with a stick, before strangling her to the point of death — before he then sexually assaulted her,” Chippewa County District Attorney Wade Newell told the judge at the bond hearing, according to the Associated Press.

After hearing from both legal teams, Judge Ben Lane granted prosecutors’ request to detain the boy on a $1 million cash bond, calling his alleged crimes “a serious threat to the community,” CBS Minnesota reported. The boy’s defense team had asked for a $100,000 bond, arguing that he was not a flight risk because he was too young to drive. 

Newell said after the hearing the boy is charged with first-degree intentional homicide, first-degree sexual assault and first-degree sexual assault of a child under age 13 resulting in great bodily harm. The judge in the case has sealed the criminal complaint, the AP reports.

The name of the suspect, who appeared in court on video, has not been released, though prosecutors said he has lived in Chippewa County, Wisconsin, for his entire life. Investigators said he and Peters knew each other.

“The suspect was not a stranger. The suspect was known to the victim,” Kelm said, according to CBS Minnesota. “We do not believe there is any danger to the community at this time.” 

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Iliana “Lily” Peters 

Chippewa Falls Police


Peters was first reported missing on Sunday night after she did not return home from her aunt’s house. While searching for the girl, officers found a bicycle near a walking trail. 

Her body was found in a wooded area near the walking trail on Monday morning, police said. On Tuesday, the suspect was arrested at a home on the same block as Peters’ aunt’s house, CBS Minnesota reported.


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