Iliana ‘Lily’ Peters was a 10-year-old girl who was murdered in Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin, after being found near a walking trail.
“At this point we are considering this a homicide investigation. We do not have anyone in custody and are continuing to follow up on multiple leads,” Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin, police wrote in a statement posted to their Facebook page.
On April 26, 2022, the chief announced in a press conference that a juvenile suspect was arrested. He was not named. “The suspect was not a stranger, the suspect was known to the victim,” Kthe chief said. “We do not believe there is any danger to the community at this time.”
He added, “First and most importantly, earlier this evening we arrested a juvenile suspect in this case.”
Police wrote, “If you have any tips regarding Lily Peters, please call 1-800-263-5906. Thank you.”
Chippewa Falls is a rural, usually safe community located in northwestern Wisconsin. Other than that they believe it is a homicide, police have not released a specific cause of death.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Lily Was Reported Missing After She Did Not Return Home From a Visit to Her Aunt’s House
Chippewa Falls Police Chief Matthew Kelm gave an update on what was initially described as a missing person’s case.
At about 9 p.m. on April 25, 2022, the Chippewa Falls Police Department received information that Iliana (Lily) M. Peters, age 10, was missing from the City of Chippewa Falls.
“Lily’s father reported that she had not returned home from a visit to her aunt’s house in the 400 block of N. Grove Street. Officers later located a bicycle in the woods near the walking trail between the end of N. Grove Street and the Leinenkugel’s brewery parking lot. Numerous agencies and resources were called to assist with the search for Lily.”
In an update, Kelm said in a news conference that it was early in the investigation so he was limited as to what information he could provide.
He reiterated that people should remain vigilant. Authorities established a tip line.
He called the people of the community, honest, and hard-working. And he said he believed “we would come together as a community to overcome this.”
2. Lily’s Body Was Located Near a Walking Trail
At about 9:15 a.m. on April 25, 2022, a body “was located in the wooded area near the walking trail in that area. The Chippewa County Coroner’s Office has now confirmed this is the body of Lily Peters,” the chief wrote.
Chippewa Falls Police Department and the numerous assisting agencies “will be working diligently on this case. We encourage anyone with information to please contact the Chippewa Falls Police Department and to maintain a state of vigilance as there may be a danger to the public,” the chief wrote.
“To maintain the integrity of this very active and ongoing investigation, I am unable to provide further details at this time..We would like to extend our deepest sympathies to the family and friends of Lilly Peters during this tragic time. If you have ANY tips, please call 715-726-7701, select option 1.”
There is a public Facebook page devoted to the case.
3. Lily Was a Fourth Grader
The initial news release from April 24, 2022, said that Peters was age 10 and was a fourth grader at Parkview Elementary.
The Chippewa Falls Police Department was contacted by Lily’s father who advised that she had not returned home from the visit to her aunt’s house.
“Officers learned that Lily was last seen by family members in the evening. She was supposed to be heading home to the 50 block of E. Birch St. Officers and family checked the area and contacted family and friends but she was not located.”
The bicycle was found after dark in woods a short distance from her aunt’s residence near the walking trail.
K9 teams were called it, but it was determined that the incident did not meet the criteria for an Amer Alert. Lily was last known to be wearing a purple ¼ zip long sleeve shirt with black stretch pants and grey shoes.
4. There Is a Petition to Create a ‘Lily Alert’
A Change.org petition has been created in Lily’s name to create a “Lily alert” for missing kids who don’t qualify for Amber Alerts.
It has more than 8,000 signatures and reads,
I’d like to formally start a petition to create a Lily alert. A 10 year old girl went missing in Chippewa falls, Wisconsin. The child was reported missing after a bike ride to her aunt’s house. She was reported missing around 9pm. Her bike and body where located the next morning. The police called it a homicide. An amber alert was never sent due to the rules. We need something more. Any parent would agree that when a child is missing even for a short amount of time and they need help then help should be sent. The community is devastated and rallied to start a search group for the missing child. We can do better as a community and must be more proactive.
Henry wrote on Facebook, “I just wanted to update everyone and say thank you from the bottom of my heart. This thing has taken off beyond my wildest dreams. Let Lily be a voice for change.”
5. A Family Member Wrote, ‘Everyone Is Devastated’
A family member wrote on Facebook, “Please pray for my sister and her family, Lilly was found deceased this morning at 915am in the wooded area along the trail. Lilly was my nieces and nephew’s little sister and everyone is devastated and heartbroken today. Please pray for Lilly’s parents Alexander Peters and Jennifer Eyerly and Lilly’s brother.”
Another person wrote, “I just handed over the DVR for our security cameras to the Department of Justice. Regardless of what’s on there, it won’t bring the young girl back, but I hope they find something that will bring whoever it was to justice! Hug your loved ones, and if it’s your thing, say a prayer for Lily Peters and her family!”
In a press conference, the chief said, “As you can imagine first responders are treemndouly impacted by anything that impacts one of our children, so it is very difficult for them.”