An autopsy is underway in the murder of 10-year-old Wisconsin girl Lily Peters, who was found dead near a walking trail while visiting her aunt’s home, authorities said.
The autopsy began early Tuesday and may not be completed until Wednesday, Chippewa County Coroner Ronald Patten told WQOW.
Lily’s body, which was discovered Monday in a wooded area not far from her aunt’s Chippewa Falls home, was taken to the Ramsey County Medical Examiner’s Office in Minnesota, Patten said. That agency told The Post the autopsy had not been completed as of early Wednesday.
Chippewa Falls Police Chief Matthew Kelm announced Tuesday that a juvenile suspect who was known to the victim had been arrested in Lily’s murder.
The chief declined to provide details on the underage suspect, including the person’s age, gender or relationship to Lily. Charges were not immediately announced.
“While nothing will bring Lily Peters back or change what happened, we are very grateful to be able to deliver this news for the family and for the community,” Kelm told reporters.
With the suspect’s arrest, Kelm said he was “confident that there’s no further danger to the community,” the Star Tribune reported.
Investigators executed a search warrant Tuesday at the home of Lily’s aunt, where the young girl went to visit on Sunday. The warrant was in search of “information tied to the killing,” Kelm said.
Lily, who was reported missing late Sunday, was a fourth-grader at Parkview Elementary School in Chippewa Falls, where classmates and residents in the town of 13,000 are honoring her with a memorial of purple flowers and stuffed animals, WQOW reported.
“I grew up in this town,” said Chelsea Torgerson of Chippewa Falls, who hung a drawing at the memorial along with her daughter, Ava. “I’ve lived here pretty much since I was in kindergarten and I always felt so safe. I know these things happen everywhere all over the world every day, but this is way too close to home.”
An online fundraiser set up for Lily’s family had eclipsed $15,000 as of early Wednesday.