BREAKING NEWS: New Jersey Teen Killed for Bike Parts: Police
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Updated at 4:50 p.m. ET: CLAYTON, N.J. — Two teenage brothers have been charged in the death of 12-year-old Autumn Pasquale, whose body was found in a recycling bin, a New Jersey prosecutor says.
Gloucester County Prosecutor Sean F. Dalton said Pasquale died in a manner consistent with strangulation.
“There were no signs of sexual assault,” Dalton said, adding “she was lured to the juveniles’ house where this crime was committed. … It was for the purpose of obtaining parts from the BMX bike.”
Autumn was last seen around 12:30 p.m. on Saturday leaving her Clayton home while riding a white BMX bike to a friend’s house. The girl’s parents called police after she never made it to that friend’s house.
Her body was found late Monday in the recycling bin of a home where the teens’ live, about seven blocks from her own, authorities say.
The boys, ages 15 and 17, are charged with first-degree murder, conspiracy to commit murder, disposal of a body, tampering of evidence and theft. The 15-year-old boy was also charged with one count of luring, Dalton said. Both were in police custody.
Clayton NJ residents face grisly news – missing girl’s body found
Police believe the boys lured Autumn to their home, promising her parts for her BMX bike. During their investigation, the mother of the teens contacted police regarding postings on a Facebook account of one of the suspects, according to officials.
The case spread fear and worries through the New Jersey town that had been desperately searching for the girl since she disappeared while on a ride through the neighborhood.
Autumn would have celebrated her 13th birthday on Monday.
“There’s evil everywhere, even in the small town of Clayton,” said Paul Spadafora, Autumn’s uncle.
Earlier Tuesday, Spadafora spoke with community members, thanking each of them of helping in the search for his niece.
Read more on Autumn Pasquale from NBCPhiladelphia.com
Hundreds of volunteers took part in the search effort, including the Clayton Police Department, Child Abduction Response Team, New Jersey State Police, the FBI and officers from 40 other police departments.
Autumn’s bike was found Tuesday by police inside the same small house where Autumn’s body was found Monday night, NJ.com reported.
Autumn’s family was notified of the discovery, according to police.
“This is a very sad day for the Pasquale family,” Dalton said in a press release. “Our hearts go out to the family and to all the residents of Clayton who stood together in support of this young girl.”
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