Prosecutor: Teen Brothers Strangled Autumn Pasquale

The brothers, ages 15 and 17, are charged with first-degree murder. They may be tried as adults.

Two teenage brothers lured 12-year-old Autumn Pasquale into their house, strangled her and then dumped her body in a recycling bin, authorities said Tuesday afternoon. 

The Clayton, Gloucester County, girl had been missing since about 12:30 p.m. Saturday, when she left home on her white BMX Odyssey bicycle. After a relentless two-day search, her body was found in the bin outside a Clayton home late Monday night. 

Authorities on Tuesday arrested the brothers—ages 15 and 17—who live about five blocks from Pasquale's home. During a news conference in Clayton on Tuesday afternoon, Gloucester County Prosecutor Sean Dalton declined to release their identities because of their ages. 

They each are charged with first-degree murder, conspiracy to commit murder, disposing of a body, tampering with evidence and theft. Additionally, the 15-year-old was charged with luring. 

The teens lured the girl into their home by telling her they had parts for her bicycle, according to the prosecutor. 

An autopsy performed Tuesday morning showed Pasquale died of blunt force trauma consistent with strangulation, according to Dalton. He said there was no indication Pasquale was sexually assaulted. 

The teen's mother contacted authorities after seeing a Facebook post from one of her sons regarding Pasquale, Dalton said. He declined to elaborate. 

Authorities executed a search warrant Tuesday at the teenagers' home. 

"The search recovered personal belongings of Autumn's in the juveniles' residence," including her bicycle, Dalton said. 

Dalton said his office may seek to try the teens as adults. A detention hearing for the juveniles is expected to take place Wednesday in Family Court in Woodbury. 

The case attracted media from as far away as New York to the small borough. In addition to dozens of members of the media, several Clayton residents also attended Tuesday's press conference. Some of them wiped away tears as Dalton provided the grisly details of Pasquale's death. 

Dalton credited local residents for banding together to help in the search for Pasquale. 

"Today we mourn the loss of a young girl whose life was tragically cut short before it even began," Dalton said. "I know a lot of you are angry, and you have a right to be angry. At this point, we need to put anger aside. We have to let justice take its course."

Aylene Leas October 24, 2012 at 02:30 AM
Prayers for her family and friends. This is so tragic! Very scary world we live in now.
Carla October 24, 2012 at 07:38 AM
May God bless you and your family..during this tough and sad time....#tears...
jocelyn sepulveda October 24, 2012 at 07:36 PM
May god blessed you and your family ... Justice will be served if not now when god comes.
Brietta Dixon-Amaouche October 26, 2012 at 01:07 PM
I am at a true lost for words - I have of no relationship to your family and I have never heard of you but I cannot get you out of my thoughts its nothing short of sick to think of what people can do to one another and in this instance all parties are kids what could have been that bad in their lives that could lead them to do something as vicious and horrific as this - you know I understand that it took guts for the mother to come forward but what was going on under that roof or behind that door that led up to this - it is no time to point fingers but at the same time responsibility needs to be taken - my opinion is they need to be placed On Trial AS ADULTS because kids do not do the things that they have-their acts were completely monsterous- From the Bottom of my heart and the CORE of my SOUL I am so sorry you are going through this,and know that your innocent beautiful Autumn has been graciously welcomed into Gods welcoming arms. Mr. and Mrs Pasquale your beautiful family are in my prayers- May God Bless You and Soothe your aching hearts. BND-Broomall, PA
andthatsthetruth October 26, 2012 at 01:26 PM
I also extend my condolences to the Pasquale Family. The whole tri-state area has been left with a somber grieving feeling for this family. We hear these stories everyday of children doing crazy bizarre things to other people and to themselves. We cannot know what was going on in their home and should not be fast to make judgement. Their Mother knew how to keep control on their face book account and knew that this wasn't right. Then DID the right thing. Mothers bring their children into this world to nurture and love for all the days of their lives. No one ever expects these things. There is 2 sides to this tragedy one that I hope I never have to deal with, and hope you never do either. Both Mothers are torn and shattered in this situation. Let's not pass judgement. The boys that did this should be tried as adults for various reasons. The biggest one is first degree murder and possibility of life in prison. These individuals that are being retained in prison for young teenage offenses that do their time and get released possibly at 30-40 years old have no life and return to the violence that they have only known. We have got to get a grip on these repeat offenders. They have been known to kidnap children & end up murdering them or abusing them holding them captive. What ever happened to an eye for an eye?


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