Teens Allegedly Lured, Murdered Autumn Pasquale

Two minors, ages 15 and 17, are charged with first-degree murder in the death of the 12-year-old Clayton girl. Gloucester County will seek to try the teens as adults.

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

The Clayton girl had been missing since about 12:30 p.m. Saturday, when she left home on her white BMX Odyssey bicycle.  

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. 

Each is charged with first-degree murder, conspiracy to commit murder, disposing of a body, tampering with evidence and theft. The 15-year-old was also 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 on the substance of the tip. 

Authorities executed a search warrant Tuesday at the teenagers' home that 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. They will receive a detention hearing 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."

Mike Tribulas October 25, 2012 at 01:40 AM
Read the newspaper on any given day and you will see how dangerous teenagers really are.....killing classmates, family members. The death penalty is an EASY argument for such low-lifes.
GFY October 25, 2012 at 01:01 PM
Yes, B the death penalty for teenagers and anyone else who commits atrocities like this. This is the second young girl murdered (premeditated by the way) by a teenager/teenagers in a couple weeks. What should we do? Put them in jail for 30 years? Do you think someone that does this at 15 won’t do it at 45? Not everyone can be fixed.
senior October 25, 2012 at 01:08 PM
And now the news about arresting killer of little Jessica in Colorado.......17 years old...another teenager! This is just too much.......
Loretka October 26, 2012 at 01:04 AM
These teens are monsters who have no value for human life. They must be tried as adults and put in prison for the remainder of their lives. People with that mindset cannot be fixed. If allowed to be out on the streets, they will most likely kill again. Like I said, they are the kind that have no value of human life. Doesn't matter to them that the young girl is dead and will never get to live her life. They just don't value life, so why let they live their lives. Put them away for life where they can't hurt another innocent victim
Loretka October 26, 2012 at 03:38 AM
Don't think "kudos" is in order. From what I've been reading, the mother did not step forward until there was a $10,000 reward posted --- and then she inquired about the rules for getting the reward --- and then she requested to be given the reward.


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