CHIPPEWA FALLS, Wisc. — Police investigating the death of 10-year-old Iliana Peters in western Wisconsin arrested a juvenile suspect known to the victim, they announced Tuesday evening.
Chippewa Falls Police Chief Matthew Kelm during a brief news conference declined to provide the age or sex of the suspect, whether the suspect was related to the girl or where the arrest occurred. He said there was no longer any danger to the public.
“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,” Kelm said.
Police began searching for the girl, who went by the name Lily, after her father reported Sunday evening that she hadn’t returned home from a visit to her aunt’s house in western Wisconsin, around 90 miles east of Minneapolis. Police added Lily lived a quarter-mile west of where her aunt lives.
Police said a bicycle believed to be hers was found late Sunday in the woods near the walking trail between the end of North Grove Street and the Leinenkugel’s brewery parking lot.
WHAT WE KNOW ABOUT LILY PETERS:The missing 10-year-old Wisconsin girl found dead
Peters’ body was found at about 9:15 a.m. Monday in a wooded area near the walking trail, according to police.
“Our investigators are following up with leads and tips, actively,” Kelm said, expressing his “deepest condolences” to Peters’ family and friends.
“The people of our community are honest, hardworking and kind-hearted,” Kelm said. “It’s almost impossible to believe that something this horrific could happen in our city. An event like this threatens our sense of security. However, I believe we will come together as a community to overcome this fear.”
Police said on a Facebook post Tuesday they have increased their presence outside schools, “especially during drop-off and pick-up times.”
The school district superintendent, Jeff Holmes, sent a note to parents recommending that children who usually walk to or from school, instead be dropped off and picked up by family members or trusted friends until further notice.
Contributing: The Associated Press
Follow Hannah Kirby on Twitter at @HannahHopeKirby.