A South Jersey town begins to absorb the shock of two teenage boys being charged in the death of Autumn Pasquale as the County Prosecutor calls for unity in the mourning community.
Sunday night as searchers ended another fruitless search for 12-year-old Autumn Pasquale, alleged murderer Justin Robinson sat in his two bedroom home on East Clayton Avenue and logged onto a computer. His next stop after 8 P.M. that night was to go onto Facebook and "like" the social media page created to help find Autumn Pasquale. According to investigators however, Justin Robinson knew very well that Autumn was very close by, dead in a blue recycling container, the same kind that dots the yards of homes throughout Gloucester County, having lured her there and allegedly strangled her to death in that very home according to the Philadelphia Daily News.
When County Prosecutor Sean Dalton held a news conference Tuesday it was unknown whether or not Autumn Pasquale had known the young boys now accused of taking her life, however the Philadelphia Daily News is now reporting that she may have. In August the 12-year-old girl "liked" a photo on Justin's Facebook page of a BMX bike with gold rims. A family member has also told the Daily News that they believe Autumn took bicycle rims to the home in which she is alleged to have been killed in on Saturday. A mere 8-minute ride from her home on West High Street.
The Daily Mail reports that 11-year-old Deanna Edwards McMillen a friend of Autumn's said she last saw the slain girl on Friday, and last corresponded with her young friend Saturday, at 1:30 P.M. by text messaging. Her final text was a message which said "don't be that way."
Deanna went on to say that Autumn always went to her house, however she would go home before her 8 P.M. curfew. Deanna went on to state that Autumn was a kind hearted girl who got along with everyone, despite postings on a Facebook page belonging to her which mentioned fights and rivalries with other girls.
Autumns' mother according to the Daily Mail last spoke to her daughter at 2:30 P.M. on Saturday. Having been reported missing at 9:30 P.M. this presents just a 7-hour window in which she died.
Justin Robinson, 15-years-old is specifically charged with luring the 12-year-old girl to his mother, Anita's home. Who lives in the two bedroom, one bathroom house is unclear. Some neighbors say that the boys mother recently moved out, others say that Anita Carol Robinson lives at the East Clayton home, running a salon in the basement. The young accused killers father, Alonzo told 6 ABC he has not seen his sons in a year. Alonzo Robinson went on to state that he divorced his wife and that she has been raising Justin and 17-year-old Dante. He said he could not believe they would be capable of such a crime, but went on to apologize to the Pasquale family saying, "It's bad" when speaking of what his sons are accused of.
According to the 6 ABC broadcast Alonzo has made no decision on supporting the boys at trial. Media reports state the Robinson brother's were turned in by their mother who noticed a suspicious post on one of her son's Facebook page. The Daily News reported that Sunday Justin had posted "May be moving" on his Facebook wall with a sad emoticon. After being charged family members took to the page and voiced their support for the brothers, one post from their older brother Michael read: "I love you so much little brother." Other posts asked the teen aged accused killers to ask God for forgiveness and to pray.
Autumn Pasquale's brother A.J. also posted on Justin Robinson's Facebook page saying: "I know you won't see this, but I'm just letting you know that I am coming for you, next time I see your face or your brother Dante I'm kicking your asses." The accused killers are due in court Friday.
Autumn Pasquale was found on Monday night in a recycling bin, Tuesday morning the Borough of Clayton would have collected the bins the Daily Mail reported. Seized from the Robinson home was a white BMX bike, according to Gloucester County Prosecutor, Autumn Pasquale was not sexually assaulted. Sean Dalton called for unity in the small South Jersey town where African Americans are outnumbered by Whites 5 to 1. When asked if the tragedy could turn to racial strife, Sean Dalton replied: "We will not turn on each other, we came together as a community; we'll continue to come together." However, those sentiments have not stopped some bloggers from using the case to attack blacks. On the Internet the accused are called "black hoodlums" other forums have posted pictures of the teens accused, as well as other individuals who have posted on Facebook about the case, using racial slurs and the N-word.
Sean Dalton went on to refuse to comment on whether or not Clayton Borough Police had received a call about stolen bikes being inside the Robinson home on Saturday, the very same day that Autumn went missing. As for her parents they have told local NBC affiliate Channel 10 in Philadelphia that they want New Jersey Attorney General Jeffrey Chiesa to investigate the law enforcement's handling of the case, believing that Autumn could had been found alive.
Justin Robinson, a sophomore at Clayton High School and his older brother, Dante a student at Bankbridge Developmental Center, a school for troubled students as well as children with learning disabilities, are being held in the Camden County Detention Center.
Residents attended an hour-long candlelight vigil in Clayton for the murdered Autumn Pasquale, Police from numerous jurisdictions were on hand including Glassboro Police as well as Rowan University Police for crowd control. Funeral Mass services will be Saturday in Glassboro, New Jersey at Our Lady of Lourdes Church. A public viewing will take place from 8 A.M. until 2 P.M. followed by a funeral service. The young girl who would have turned 13-years-old on Monday will be buried at Cedar Grove Cemetery in her hometown of Clayton.