Lily Peters Chippewa Falls latest news – Suspect arrested after 10-year-old Wisconsin girl's body found in wooded area

CHIPPEWA Falls police have announced an arrest in the search for Lily Peters' killer.

The suspect was reportedly a juvenile who "was not a stranger to Lily," according to police.

Police did not provide any additional information about the suspect, including their age.

"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," said Chippewa Falls Police Chief Matt Kelm.

The body of Lily Peters was discovered in a wooded area not far from her bike on Monday morning outside the Lienenkugel's Brewery in Chippewa Falls, a few blocks from her Wisconsin home.

Lily was riding her bike four blocks from her aunt's house to her house – however, the little girl never arrived and her father reported her missing.

Her death was compared to the 1996 case of Amber Hagerman, 9, who was snatched from her bike and found dead days later, inspiring the Amber Alert system.

Read our Lily Peters live blog for the latest updates…

  • Jennifer Korn

    Amber alert not used for Lily

    The AMBER alert was not sounded when Lily's dad reported her missing Sunday night after she did not come home from her four-block bike ride between her aunt's house and her house.

    "That should've been activated immediately," said former FBI agent Jennifer Coffindaffer, alluding to the AMBER alert. "Cell phones should've been lighting up.

    "All police needed was a description of the missing girl. Once they found her bike, they knew it was foul play and the AMBER alert should've been sounded," she said.

  • Jennifer Korn

    The AMBER alert

    The AMBER – America's Missing: Broadcast Emergency Response – alert was put in place the same year Amber went missing.

    It's now used throughout the US, DC, Puerto Rico, Virgin Island and nearly 30 other countries and activated in the most serious child-abduction cases.

    The alert is most notably sent out as an ear-splitting noise on cell phones – as well as radio, TV and road signs – to grab the attention of people near the suspected abduction and the local media.

    As of December 31, 2021, 1,111 children have been recovered because of the AMBER alert, according to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.

  • Amanda Castro

    Suspect found

    A suspect has been detained in the killing of Iliana "Lily" Peters, a 10-year-old girl.

    The suspect, according to police, was a teenager who "was not a stranger" to Lily.

    At a news conference Tuesday evening, Chippewa Falls Police Chief Matt Kelm made the announcement.

  • Jennifer Korn

    Lily Peters compared to Amber Hagerman, continued

    Although the pattern was similar, it's "highly unlikely" that both girls were murdered by the same person because of the length of time and distance between cases, Coffindaffer told The Sun.

    But the similarities suggest there's "likely" a predator hunting in the small Wisconsin town of Chippewa Falls, the former FBI agent said.

  • Jennifer Korn

    Lily Peters compared to Amber Hagerman

    Amber was the first person former FBI agent Jennifer Coffindaffer thought of after learning about Lily's tragic death.

    Both girls were about the same age when they were found dead after riding their bicycles.

    Their bodies were also dumped in secluded wooded areas, Coffindaffer said.

    "The killer's modus operendi were the same in both cases," she said.

  • Jennifer Korn

    What happened to Amber Hagerman?

    In January 1996, nine-year-old Amber Hagerman's body was found near a stream a couple days after she was snatched off her bicycle more than 1,000 miles away in Arlington Texas.

    No arrests were ever made in the case, but it inspired the Amber Alert, which is a message distributed by a child abduction alert system that asks the public for help in finding kids.

  • Jennifer Korn

    Call in tips

    Anyone with tips is urged to call Chippewa Police at 1-800-263-5906.

  • Jennifer Korn

    Who was Lily Peters?

    Lily was a fourth-grader at Parkview Elementary School.

    Police have ruled her death a homicide after finding the child's body in a wooded area Monday morning.

  • Jennifer Korn

    The police search

    Police K9s and drones searched the wooded area, as additional law enforcement members were on foot along the Duncan Creek Trail, where the bike was found.

    Lily Peters was found dead the next morning.

  • Jennifer Korn

    Has anyone been arrested?

    No arrests have been made so far.

    Police are encouraging anyone with information to contact CFPD.

  • Jennifer Korn

    Was Lily Peters murdered?

    Chief Kelm is considering the child's death a homicide and has launched an investigation.

  • Jennifer Korn

    What happened to Lily Peters? continued

    Overnight, officials located a bike they believe belonged to the 10-year-old in the woods near her aunt's home.

    “We would like to extend our deepest sympathies to the family and friends of Lily Peters during this tragic time,” Chippewa Falls Police Chief Matthew Kelm said.

  • Jennifer Korn

    What happened to Lily Peters?

    Officials located the body of missing child Iliana "Lily" Peters, 10, in a wooded area near the Duncan Creek Trail in Wisconsin at about 9.15am Monday.

    Lily's father reported his daughter missing on Sunday evening after she failed to return home from visiting her aunt nearby.

    Police said the girl lived about four blocks from the family member's home.

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