Chippewa Falls, WI – A 14-year-old boy has been arrested on homicide and sex assault charges for allegedly strangling a 10-year-old girl to death and then raping her.
According to the Chippewa Falls Police Department (CFPD), the father of 10-year-old Iliana “Lily” Peters reported her missing at approximately 9 p.m. on April 24 after she failed to return from a visit to her aunt’s home, FOX News reported.
The little girl’s body was found near a walking trail in the woods just blocks away from her aunt’s residence at approximately 9:15 a.m. on Monday, according to USA Today.
The suspect had “punched the victim in the stomach, knocked her to the ground, essentially strangled her, hit her with a stick, before strangling her to the point of death – before he then sexually assaulted her,” Chippewa County District Attorney Wade Newell told the court during a bond hearing on Wednesday afternoon, FOX News reported.
Chippewa Falls Police Chief Matthew Kelm announced on Tuesday that a juvenile male had been taken into custody in connection with Peters’ horrific murder.
The suspect was identified in court documents as “C.P-B.,” CNN reported.
“The suspect was not a stranger. The suspect was known to the victim,” Chief Kelm said shortly after the boy’s arrest, according to FOX News. “We do not believe there is any danger to the community at this time.”
Newell said the teen allegedly confessed to the murder, telling investigators that “his intention was to rape and kill the victim from the get-go,” according to CNN.
The connection between Peters and her alleged killer has not been released, FOX News reported.
Prosecutors confirmed the 14-year-old suspect has been charged as an adult for the offenses of first-degree sexual assault with a child under age 13 resulting in great bodily harm, first-degree intentional homicide, and first-degree sexual assault, according to the news outlet.
The judge set the eighth-grader’s bond at $1 million on Wednesday and prohibited him from having contact with any juveniles except his siblings, and ordered that those contacts must be supervised.
The suspect is being held at the Northwest Regional Juvenile Detention Center in Eau Claire, USA Today reported.
Although he has been charged as an adult, the teen’s case could potentially be moved to juvenile court at the behest of his attorneys via a challenge process, according to FOX News.
If convicted as an adult on the murder charge, he could face a maximum sentence of life in prison, FOX News reported.
The suspect’s next court hearing is currently scheduled for May 5, according to CNN.
Chief Kelm said police received over 200 tips in the wake of Peters’ murder, some of which helped detectives in identifying the alleged suspect, FOX News reported.
“These tips were critical to solving this case,” the chief said, according to CNN. “There is still much work to be done. Our thoughts continue to be with the family during this terrible time.”