Autumn Pasquale funeral draws hundreds of mourners for slain N.J. girl, 12

Autumn Pasquale is seen here in an undated personal photo.
Autumn Pasquale
Personal photo

(CBS/AP) GLASSBORO, N.J. - The body of 12-year-old Autumn Pasquale was laid to rest Saturday at a New Jersey church where mourners were urged to do good works in her memory.

Pictures: Body of missing NJ girl found

Autumn was found dead on Oct. 22 in a recycling bin behind a house in Clayton next to where her accused murderers lived. Two brothers, aged 15 and 17 years old, were arrested in her slaying.

Hundreds of people lined up from morning until afternoon for Autumn's wake at Our Lady of Lourdes Church. Some wore buttons bearing the girl's photo and T-shirts reading: "Autumn Pasquale forever in our hearts."

Monsignor Michael Mannion eulogized the girl at a funeral Mass that followed the wake.

"So often when someone dies, especially at this age, we're haunted by the question why did she die?" Mannion said. "We struggle with it. We're hurt by it. We're broken by it. But I hope in the midst of that grieving, we can ask ourselves why did she live?"

Police said Autumn disappeared on Oct. 20 riding her BMX bike in her neighborhood in Clayton, a town about 25 miles south of Philadelphia. She was allegedly lured to a house by the younger brother who told her he wanted to trade bike parts. Police said he and his 17-year-old brother killed the girl and put her body in the bin near their home.

The brothers were ordered detained after a juvenile hearing Friday. Authorities have not revealed their names because they are juveniles.

On Saturday, Mannion urged mourners to do good works as a way to remember Autumn's generous spirit. He suggested her peers to talk to a classmate sitting alone at a lunch table or organize a charity bike ride in her memory.

"Let her life change yours. Let her spirit and let her soul, which connected so easily to other souls, become something we all remember," he said.

Complete coverage of Autumn Pasquale on Crimesider