On Monday, 10-year-old Iliana Peters, also known as Lily, was found dead near a walking path in downtown Chippewa Falls. Police are investigating his death for homicide and announced on Tuesday evening that a minor had been arrested.
You can follow our live coverage for frequent updates from reporters from the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, Appleton Post Crescent and USA Today Network-Wisconsin.
Police refuse to provide further information on the suspect
During a six-minute press conference on Tuesday, Chippewa Falls Police Chief Matthew Kelm declined to provide additional information about the arrest of an underage suspect on Tuesday.
Claiming the arrest took place “early tonight,” Kelm declined to provide the suspect’s age or gender, whether the suspect is related to Lily Peters or where the suspect was arrested.
Kelm said officers executed a search warrant at an address along the 400 block of North Grove Street. This block is where Lily went to visit her aunt on Sunday when she disappeared. But Kelm didn’t say if that search yielded anything of value.
What Kelm said is that the suspect was known to Lily and there is no longer any danger to the public.
He thanked the community for the more than 200 tips that have been provided to law enforcement. He called the trips “critical” to the investigation.
The phone line — 1-800-263-5906 — will remain open until noon Wednesday, Kelm said.
More than 70 officers from nearly 20 agencies participated in the investigation, including the FBI, the Wisconsin Department of Justice and several local police and sheriff departments, Kelm said.
He also referenced the purple ribbons that popped up around Chippewa Falls as a sign of support for Lily’s family.
“As we drive through town, we can see the purple ribbons and honestly, I wouldn’t expect anything less from the community of Chippewa Falls,” he said.
Police announce the arrest of a young suspect in connection with a homicide
Chippewa Falls Police Chief Matthew Kelm said officers have arrested a minor in connection with the homicide of Lily Peters.
Kelm said the minor is known to the victim and he believes there is no longer a danger to the public.
Check back for more updates.
Parkview Elementary School becomes the site of a makeshift memorial
A fence near Parkview Elementary School was lined with flowers, balloons, stuffed animals and other items left as part of a makeshift memorial to Iliana “Lily” Peters.
Tiffany Thompson and her daughter-in-law, Lexy Frank, 8, stopped by the memorial as school ended on Tuesday afternoon. The past few days have not been easy, Thompson said, but have shown how the community can come together. “As long as we can show them as much support and love and keep them informed on how to stay safe in the community now is most important,” she said.
Thompson was worried about how her daughter-in-law would handle the situation, but leaving a few items, including a stuffed unicorn and a drawing, at the memorial seemed to help. “We didn’t know how she would take it, but she’s very strong. and she wants to support Lily as much as she can,” she said.
As students boarded buses outside the school, Thompson described the memorial as the place “where we can show our support right now.”
“Honestly, it makes us feel really warm inside,” she said. “To have the community come together and do things like this for a kid in our community is very special.”
– Christophe Muller
Residents tie purple ribbons in downtown Chippewa Falls
Several Chippewa Falls residents arrived downtown Tuesday afternoon to help tie purple ribbons to lampposts in memory of Iliana “Lily” Peters.
The news of Peters’ death was “absolutely devastating to our community,” said Jennifer Barrett.
“We’re a tight-knit community, a big community of people,” she said. “It touched us a lot.”
Teri Ouimette said Lily’s murder left many people in Chippewa Falls shocked and helpless. She expressed her confidence in the Chippewa Falls Police Department, but she still felt compelled to take action and wanted to show “we are here for the family.”
“You feel so helpless,” Ouimette said. “You want to make them better. You want to improve everything.
“We don’t know what else to do. What can you do?”
It’s especially hard not knowing exactly what happened to Lily, said Barrett, an aunt of two nieces who live nearby. It was difficult to tell them about what happened, she said.
Rachel Schley, an employee at a nearby pharmacy, also felt the need to do something about Peters’ death.
“It was like a punch in the stomach. It was awful,” she said. “It literally happened right in our backyards.”
Cadott’s Amanda Pfeiffer said she still doesn’t feel safe. The incident prompted her to speak with her 11-year-old daughter about safety and being wary of strangers.
“It’s just terrifying,” she said.
Ingrid Sievers tied a purple bow in front of Olson’s Ice Cream, which she owns with her fiancé and parents.
“We are all in mourning,” she said. “It’s a pretty tight-knit little town and I think it was just a shock.”
The community, however, tends to stick together when something like this happens, she said.
“We’re just here to show solidarity and love to each other and to the family and friends who lost her,” she said.
– Christophe Muller
No one in custody on Tuesday after Lily Peters was found dead in Chippewa Falls
Police have not announced any arrests and have not released a suspect description.
People should “stay alert because there could be a danger to the public,” Chippewa Falls Police Chief Matthew Kelm said Monday night.
He recommended residents watch for suspicious behavior. Anyone with information is asked to contact an inquiry line at 800-263-5906.
After: What we know about Lily Peters, a missing 10-year-old girl from Wisconsin found dead
This article originally appeared on Milwaukee Journal Sentinel: Lily Peters Live Updates: Police Update on Arrest, Search Warrant