Autumn Pasquale Case: Murder suspect exchanged Facebook posts with NJ girl before her disappearance, report says
(CBS/AP) CLAYTON, N.J. - The younger suspect charged in connection to the death of 12-year-old Autumn Pasquale is accused of luring the New Jersey girl to his house during an online conversation over a photo posted on Facebook.
Two teenage brothers, who are 15 and 17 years old, were charged Tuesday with first-degree murder in Pasquale's death. Authorities have not discussed a motive and have not released the names of the brothers because they are charged as juveniles. But Gloucester County Prosecutor Sean Dalton said it's likely he'll ask that their case be moved to adult court.
Autumn apparently conversed with the younger brother prior to her disappearance Saturday, when she was last seen riding her white BMX motocross bicycle through the Clayton neighborhood where she and the boys lived. The Facebook page is no longer publicly accessible, but The Star-Ledger obtained copies of the posts from neighbors who asked to remain anonymous.
According to the Star-Ledger report, the conversation started on Oct. 16 over a picture of a low-slung BMX motocross bike the younger brother posted online.
"Is that ur bike?" asked Autumn, a BMX bike enthusiast.
"Yeupp," the 15-year-old suspect replied.
"Thts sexy!" she said.
"lol thxx," he replied. "... yes. cme 2 my house."
Autumn disappeared four days later. Her body was discovered Monday night, stuffed in a recycling container next door to the home of the murder suspects.
A spokesman for the prosecutor's office, Bernie Weisenfeld, would neither confirm nor deny the authenticity of the Facebook posts, the Star-Ledger reported. However, he did say Wednesday that the prosecutor was aware of them.
Investigators said they were led to the boys' home by a tip from their mother, who prosecutors said called police because she was concerned by a Facebook posting one of them made. The posting appeared not to be publicly available and authorities would not reveal what it said.
The boys' father told the Star-Ledger that the teens were known for stealing bikes, and that one son had previously been charged with theft.
Both boys are charged with murder, conspiracy to commit murder, disposing of a body, tampering with evidence and theft. The younger boy is also charged with luring, allegedly telling Autumn to come over to trade bike parts.
The teens are due in court Friday for a hearing to determine whether they are to remain in custody.
Meanwhile, funeral services for Pasquale are set for 2 p.m. Saturday at Our Lady of Lourdes Church in Glassboro, following a public viewing at 8 a.m.