A newly unsealed yet redacted court document has revealed how prosecutors believe a Wisconsin girl died at the hands of a teenage boy — and the theory pressed by the state appears to have originated from a confession to the police.
According to previous Law&Crime reports, the father of Iliana “Lily” Peters, 10, reported his daughter missing around 9:00 p.m. on Sat., April 23, when Lily didn’t return home from visiting her aunt a few blocks way.
The next morning, her bicycle turned up near a wooded trail. Her body was found soon afterwards.
A criminal complaint unsealed Friday accuses a 14-year-old identified only by the initials C T P-B with first-degree intentional homicide, Wisconsin’s highest murder charge, and two other counts: first-degree sexual assault and first-degree sexual assault of a child under 13 resulting in great bodily harm. The dates of the incidents are listed as having occurred “on or about” Sun., April 24.
The two-page document — which is brief when measured against other homicide documents filed in Wisconsin over the years — recounts how Lily’s father phoned the police to report his daughter missing. Contrary to previous reports, the document places the missing persons call as having occurred on Sun., April 24, not Sat., April 23. The document says it was the father who found the girl’s bicycle “near the wooded area east of Leinie’s Lodge” on Elm Street in Chippewa Falls around 11:00 p.m.
A search by “multiple officers” revealed nothing further, the document indicates.
The gravamen of the case unfolded on Mon., April 25, when the Chippewa Falls Police Department received a notification that Lily’s body had been discovered around 8:54 a.m. “not far from where her bicycle was found.”
The person who found the girl’s body is described only as “a person who knew Victim and was out searching for Victim.”
“Investigators noted that Victim was found deceased,” the criminal complaint continues. “Investigators at the scene described injuries to the victim consistent with blunt force trauma to the head. Investigators noted that Victim was naked from the waist down.”
An autopsy revealed “bite marks” on Lily’s “left buttocks” and other evidence of “sexual assault,” the complaint says. It also revealed “blunt force trauma on the left side of Victim’s face.”
The defendant appears to have confessed. Here’s the complaint document at length (we’ve filled in the gaps around the redactions):
On April 26, 2022, Eau [Claire] Police Department Detective Wayne Bjorkman interviewed [redacted]. Mr. [redacted] admitted to helping Victim get her bike at a residence in the City of Chippewa Falls. Mr. [redacted] stated that Victim rode her bike, while he was on a hoverboard on a trial in the City of Chippewa Falls, Chippewa County, Wisconsin. Mr. [redacted] stated when they left the house it was already his intention to rape and kill Victim. Mr. [redacted] stated once on the trail he asked Victim to go exploring off the trail. Mr. [redacted] stated he and Victim walked into the woods, up the hill. Mr. [redacted] carried his hoverboard and Victim carried her bike. Mr. [redacted] stated once off the trail he punched Victim in the stomach, knocking her to the ground. Mr. [redacted] stated he then struck Victim in the head approximately 3 times with a large stick. Mr. [redacted] stated he then straddled Victim, while Victim was laying on her back, and strangled her until he believed Victim was deceased.
The documents then describe an alleged sexual assault.
The defendant allegedly “recall[ed] biting Victim but couldn’t remember where.”
According to the complaint, the defendant “became scared,” stopped the sexual assault, and “fled the area.” He went home, showered, and “put his dirty clothes in the laundry.”
When he heard that the victim was missing, he “determined he needed to hide her better,” so he returned to the body, “drug her a few feet, and covered her with leaves,” the document concludes.
District attorney Wade C. Newell signed the form along with a legal secretary from his office.
Though defense attorneys reportedly fought to keep the material sealed, Chippewa County Circuit Court Judge Benjamin Lane ordered the redacted document released.
The full document is below:
[Images of Lily Peters via the Chippewa Falls, Wis. Police Department.]
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