Gloucester County, home to Rowan University and just minutes from Philadelphia and Atlantic City has dominated local headlines for the past few days as officials there arrest two boys in connection to the death of 12-year-old Autumn Pasquale who went missing Saturday according to KYW 3 in Philadelphia
Prosecutor Sean Dalton stated that Autumn Pasquale was allegedly lured into a Clayton area home to obtain parts for her BMX bike, here she was murdered sometime on Saturday according to CBS News
According to Dalton the boys are brothers aged 15 and 17 years-old and they were apparently turned in by their own mother who noticed a suspicious Facebook posting that one of the boys had made. The boys are said to have surrendered to police with their attorneys.
Citing New Jersey State Law the boys were not identified. The Gloucester County Prosecutor's office is having an internal discussion on whether or not to charge the boys as adults. No decision has been made yet according to Dalton's press conference since the investigation is still on going.
Dalton stated at his press conference that the initial cause of death was "blunt force trauma consistent with strangulation" according to KYW 3. Sean Dalton went on to state that preliminarily there was no signs of a sexual assault.
According to 6 ABC
in Philadelphia the boys are well known in the community as well as the local school, they are also allegedly known to the Clayton Borough Police for incidents involving trying to steal bicycles. The boys are charged with murder, conspiracy to commit murder, disposing a body, tampering with evidence and the 15-year-old in particular is charged with luring.
Autumn Pasquale went missing in Clayton New Jersey, a town of just 8,199, the Borough is also home
to Gloucester County's Emergency Response Communications Center. The girl was reported missing Saturday at 9:30 P.M. by her father after the preteen failed to show up to a friends house for a sleep over. Police initially handled the call as a runaway case however the situation evolved into a wide scale search by the FBI, New Jersey State Police and various K-9 Units. Pasquale's body was found in a recycling container at 10 P.M. on Monday night.
According to the Associated Press and CBS News Police in the area seized a backpack as well as a white BMX bike which they would not confirm was Autumn Pasquale's.
The family and officials have thanked the many citizens of the Gloucester County area and even Philadelphia for assisting in the search. Quite possibly the girl's Uncle summed up the sentiment in the small, quiet South Jersey town best, "There's evil everywhere, even in the small town of Clayton." Paul Spadafora said at the press conference held.
Autumn would had celebrated her 13th birthday on Monday, October 29th.