Police in Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin, are continuing their hunt for a suspect in the killing of a 10-year-old girl, and they are strengthening their presence in the area around nearby schools.
The body of Illiana “Lily” Peters was discovered near a walking trail early on Monday morning.
According to the Chippewa Falls Police Department, the girl’s family members were the last to see her on Sunday night. Her father called the police at 9 p.m. because she had not returned from a visit to her aunt’s residence, which he believed she had done.
A bicycle believed to belong to the girl was discovered in the woods near her aunt’s home, near a walking track that runs between the end of North Grove Street and the Leinenkugel brewery’s parking lot, according to police.
Chippewa Falls Police Chief Matthew Kelm provided an update on the investigation Monday afternoon, saying that the girl’s corpse was discovered around 9:15 a.m. near the walking route.
A growing memorial is set up for Lily Peters outside her elementary school. (KSTP/ Ginna Roe)
“I grew up here all my life, never heard of anything like this,” neighbor Jeremy Machnik said. “It’s a scary situation when you know … we’re just inside the house … and it’s Sunday afternoon, we’re cleaning and making dinner and that’s going on a block away from our house and it’s scary.”
Machnik’s kids often played with Peters, and he described seeing her riding her bike up and down the street often.
Kelm said a homicide investigation is underway and he stated no one is currently in custody in connection with the incident. Kelm asked the public to remain vigilant “as there may be a danger to the public.”
Anyone with information is asked to call the tipline at 1-800-263-5906.
Meanwhile, Chippewa Falls police reported Tuesday there will be an increased law enforcement presence around schools, especially during pick-up and drop-off times.