Two teen boys, ages 15 and 17, are accused of a killing 12-year-old girl named Autumn Pasquale, in order to take her BMX bike.
The New Jersey girl was reported missing Saturday night, when she failed to come home by her curfew time at 8 pm. The small town of Clayton gathered Sunday and Monday in search of the girl while many feared that she may have been abducted by a child predator.
A break came in the case on Monday evening when the mother of one of the boys came forward after reading something suspicious on his Facebook page. Although police aren’t commenting on what the post included, the information that was turned over led to a nearby recycle bin where they discovered the body of Autumn.
The victim was apparently strangled with no signs of sexual assault. As the investigation continued yesterday, police arrested two teenage boys, the sons of the mother who reported them to police.
Police believe the girl was riding her bike over to a friends house when she was lured by the 15-year-old boy inside their home with an offer of bike parts. They believe the girl was then strangled to death by the two boys who then disposed of her body in a recycle bin. Police believe their motive was the girl’s most prized possession — her bike.
The brothers have been charged with first degree murder, disposing and tampering with a body and evidence and luring.
While the boys names remain sealed because they are minors, police and prosecutors are moving to have the teens tried as adults. If that happens, their names and identities will become public.