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Prosecutor: Teen Brothers Strangled Autumn Pasquale

The brothers, ages 15 and 17, are charged with first-degree murder.

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-long 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."

Connor Sheridan October 24, 2012 at 12:02 AM
After reading this I still don't understand what the motive was for this. My heart goes out to Autumn's family and friends. May justice be served.
Lucy October 24, 2012 at 12:18 AM
Let justice take it's course? To late for that, These monster's should have been strangled right on the spot, That would be justice. I by know mean's wish that on a child, But in this case, In my opinion, they knew what they were doing. Rest in peace Autumn,My prayer's go out to the entire Pasquale family.
Momma T October 24, 2012 at 01:05 AM
The sad fact is that these "people" will probably be charged as Juveniles! Really, they murdered a young girl. They should be charged and tried as Adults! To the Pasquale Family, my thoughts and prayers go out to you at this time!
bob woods October 24, 2012 at 02:10 AM
what scumbags. a beautiful young girl dies because these kids dont know the value of life! let them be in a room with the family of the young girl as punishment! if that is my daughter they dont walk out alive!!!!! scumbags. this breaks my heart, she has her whole life aheaf of her, they better not be tried as children because in this case they acted knowingly of what they were doing and dont deserve any mercy!!! put them in a room with the girls dad!!!! and ther own parents should disown them instead of maybe saying they didnt do it or they have other issues, there are no other issues that would lead you to do what they did. may she rest in peace and may they die a horrible death for what they did, they deserve to
GMC 00069 October 24, 2012 at 02:12 AM
Put the needle in those two kids arms, what they did was sick, horrible and took a young girls life for a bike, where where the parents of these teens, not around apparently! hope you two teens rot in prison for life!
coffeetyme October 24, 2012 at 03:48 PM
3 teenages lives lost forever.. SO sad & so scary ... We tend to start letting our guide down a little at 12- into young teenage years, I can't imagine letting my 12 yr old daughter out on a sat. afternoon to ride her bike & never coming home ...& what was going on in those young boys head ( 15& 17) that they would THINK of doing what they did ??? not trying to sound like a old fart, But over 20 yrs have become so desensitised of crime, its on TV, video games, when there is a senseless shooting or killing media builds them up to almost movie stars ...Its almost glamorized... At 15 & 17 they are not even mature enough to understand the consequences for their actions yet .... NOT That I feel sorry for them AT ALLL!! Its just so sad that all 3 of these teens have parents & what they all are going threw is a nightmare my heart goes out to all of them.. & NOW i'm going to be so nervous every time my kids want to go ride their bikes RIP Autumn
JM October 24, 2012 at 04:08 PM
All I can say is "what a nightmare for all" This poor little girl,GONE,over a freaking bike!!!
Jack October 24, 2012 at 04:08 PM
Animals need no motive at all. Just opportunity to attack !
frankie dipolito October 24, 2012 at 04:46 PM
my heart goes out to the Autumn family.RIP.LITTLE ANGEL
frankie dipolito October 24, 2012 at 04:52 PM
sorry let me correct myself.my heart goes out to the pasquale family i will keep u in my prayers.
john October 25, 2012 at 10:42 PM
very sad loss of life......RIP AUTUMN

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