NEW YORK -- Two New Jersey brothers, ages 15 and 17, were arrested and charged with first-degree murder Tuesday in the death of a 12-year-old neighbor, Autumn Pasquale, who vanished while riding her bicycle and whose body was found in a recycling bin outside the suspects’ home.
Gloucester County prosecutor Sean F. Dalton told a news conference that the boys were taken into custody in Clayton, a city of 8,100 people about 25 miles from Philadelphia, after their mother contacted law enforcement regarding postings on one of their Facebook pages. He did not name the youths or give additional details of the postings.
Dalton said both brothers were charged with first-degree murder; conspiracy; tampering with evidence; disposal of the body; and theft. The 15-year-old was also charged with luring. “Our investigation shows she was lured to the juveniles’ house where this crime was committed,” Dalton said.
Officials said it was too early to say if the pair, who turned themselves in Tuesday along with their attorneys, would be charged as adults. Dalton said it appeared they had persuaded Autumn to enter the home so they could steal her white BMX bicycle.