Prosecutor: Teen Brothers Strangled Autumn Pasquale

The brothers, ages 15 and 17, are charged with first-degree murder.

Two teenage brothers lured 12-year-old Autumn Pasquale into their house, strangled her and then dumped her body in a recycling bin, authorities said Tuesday afternoon. 

The Clayton, Gloucester County girl had been missing since about 12:30 p.m. Saturday, when she left home on her white BMX Odyssey bicycle. After a relentless two-day search, her body was found in the bin outside a Clayton home late Monday night. 

Authorities on Tuesday arrested the brothers—ages 15 and 17—who live about five blocks from Pasquale's home. During a news conference in Clayton on Tuesday afternoon, Gloucester County Prosecutor Sean Dalton declined to release their identities because of their ages. 

They each are charged with first-degree murder, conspiracy to commit murder, disposing of a body, tampering with evidence and theft. Additionally, the 15-year-old was charged with luring. 

The teens lured the girl into their home by telling her they had parts for her bicycle, according to the prosecutor. 

An autopsy performed Tuesday morning showed Pasquale died of blunt force trauma consistent with strangulation, according to Dalton. He said there was no indication Pasquale was sexually assaulted. 

The teen's mother contacted authorities after seeing a Facebook post from one of her sons regarding Pasquale, Dalton said. He declined to elaborate. 

Authorities executed a search warrant Tuesday at the teenagers' home. 

"The search recovered personal belongings of Autumn's in the juveniles' residence," including her bicycle, Dalton said. 

Dalton said his office may seek to try the teens as adults. A detention hearing for the juveniles is expected to take place Wednesday in Family Court in Woodbury.  

The case attracted media from as far away as New York to the small borough. In addition to dozens of members of the media, several Clayton residents also attended Tuesday's press conference. Some of them wiped away tears as Dalton provided the grisly details of Pasquale's death. 

Dalton credited local residents for banding together to help in the search for Pasquale. 

"Today we mourn the loss of a young girl whose life was tragically cut short before it even began," Dalton said. "I know a lot of you are angry, and you have a right to be angry. At this point, we need to put anger aside. We have to let justice take its course."

NJarhead October 24, 2012 at 11:15 AM
First of all, this senseless murder is sickening. I wonder if we'll ever know the answer the question of why. My prayers to this little girl and her family. I'm also confused about something in the article: "An autopsy performed Tuesday morning showed Pasquale died of blunt force trauma consistent with strangulation...." How does blunt force trauma cause strangulation or the other way around? Did they intend to say sh was hit over the head and then strangled? Or, did they smash her wind pipe (doubtful)?
njx October 24, 2012 at 01:19 PM
I know that "blunt force trauma" conjures up an image of someone getting hit with a heavy object, but choking, squeezing, etc. also qualify. Basically, it is any non-penetrating trauma.
Joe Cool October 24, 2012 at 02:30 PM
These 2 sub-humans need to be put to death, there is no place on this earth for animals like this. I would love to be the one to flip the switch and watch these 2 die...
Kristen October 24, 2012 at 02:35 PM
@Joe Cool, I cannot agree with you more. They need to be tried as adults so they can be thrown into prison & see What the prisoners feel about little boys who kill young girls! They need to be tortured first for a while then get executed!
bd October 24, 2012 at 02:37 PM
i volunteer to stick the needle into both these little savages---eye for an eye
Lisa Smith October 24, 2012 at 02:46 PM
Seriously? That's your question? Social media has not only provided an immediate source of information but has also provided clear evidence that much of our society has degrated morally and has lost all sense of impropriety and decency. I do hope they try these murderers as adults and discover how these young people could even get to this level of criminality without prior detection. How many more are out there?
NJarhead October 24, 2012 at 02:50 PM
What are you talking about???
George Clark October 24, 2012 at 06:22 PM
lisa, its jarheads that are empty to the fact that we've been led down and unholy road watching violence as common place. we've all become the walking dead by watching and participating in these sick ideas. See how a once nobel jarhead has had his mind polluted so much he can't see his media has gradually at first then rapidly changed from leave it to beave to hand me the clever like i saw in the movies. turn off the tvs, movies, games and music that promote these things before we all become victims or perpetrators of violent mindless killing. thanks for you service jarhead. you are relieved of your command. stand down.
NJarhead October 24, 2012 at 07:27 PM
Wow, no idea where you're coming from either. She had a negative about a question. Seeing how I'm the only one who asked a question, I asked what she was talking about. Seem unreasonable to you George?
Polly Graf October 25, 2012 at 09:42 AM
Don't we have enough bad news in Middletown without including this horific event in our local news?
Jeb Johnson October 25, 2012 at 11:40 AM
Polly get your head out of the sand. Forget needle these punks should be released in the middle of iraq with yarmulkas on.
George Clark October 26, 2012 at 02:18 AM
so sorry soldier, I jumped the gun. seems to be a trend nowadays. I am a bit disturbed that nobody sees the danger we've gotten ourselves in by all this violence we are exposing ourselves and especially our young minds too. We really should take a hard look at who is producing these images and is money there only motive. Yes I know it's the parents job to protect there own kids' minds. But I also know we must do our best to stand against these images less we want them in all our lives for real. Sorry my njarhead friend. Must be all the violence and antifellow man stuff getting to me. I didn't really see your first post either. my bad. please forgive. you can take point.
NJarhead October 26, 2012 at 11:05 AM
I can forgive everything but calling me "Soldier."
George Clark October 26, 2012 at 01:40 PM
lol. i thought that would seem an insult. I was just keeping my words that start with s going. lol nuf said I salute you jarhead.
Face2Face Cosmetics October 26, 2012 at 02:07 PM
My heart and prayers go out to the families of all involved. The mother that reported her sons to the authorities deserves our comfort as well. That is an incredible act to do the right thing even when it will take your children away from you. Not many could or would do such a thing. Whatever justice is dealt out it will not erase the pain and suffering these 2 families and those that love and care about them will endure. You are all in my thoughts - may you find peace at some point in the future.
NJarhead October 26, 2012 at 02:10 PM
I'd been thinking about that too, Face. Some will blame her for raising murderers, but she definitely has my sympathy as well. It's a tragedy all the way around.
Mills Lane October 26, 2012 at 02:12 PM
thanks for your opinion soldier.
NJarhead October 26, 2012 at 02:15 PM
Someone has a man-crush on me.
Mills Lane October 26, 2012 at 02:19 PM
Seriously? Sorry. I thought you were a chick.
Bayratt October 26, 2012 at 02:31 PM
Didn't the Mom turn them in to get the reward money? Thats what the Philli news reported. If thats true, all I can say is what a nice family! Burn the two spawns from Hell. No trial, just burn them R I P Autum.
NJarhead October 26, 2012 at 02:43 PM
So you admit that you're the unstable stalker type. Noted.
Jennifer October 26, 2012 at 08:04 PM
Don't worry, NJarhead, I never understand why people react to me the way they do on this forum. It is easy to misconstrue text.
Jennifer October 26, 2012 at 08:08 PM
I think people have short memories. Etan Patz, the little Walsh boy, bad people have been doing bad things to kids ever since I can remember, and I am sure before that. Sick is sick.
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