Two Clayton, N.J. teenage brothers have been charged with first degree murder in the death of 12-year-old Autumn Pasquale, according to authorities.
Gloucester County Prosecutor Sean Dalton said the brothers, age 15 and 17, face a number of charges, including murder, conspiracy to commit murder, disposing of a body, tampering with evidence and theft. The brothers are both in police custody. Under New Jersey law, because both suspects are minors, their named cannot be released.
Pasquale was last seen on Saturday around 1:30 p.m. She had left home riding a white Eastern 20" BMX bike, and was due to return home at 8 p.m. When Pasquale's family did not hear from her by 9:30 p.m., they notified authorities.
For two days, a massive search for Pasquale was mounted in the South Jersey area where she had gone missing. On Monday night, a candlelight vigil was held at the Clayton Municipal Building in Pasquale's hometown of Clayton, N.J. Hours after the vigil had ended, her body was found in a recycling bin five blocks from her house.
Authorities announced early Tuesday morning that Pasquale's body had been found in Clayton. According to reports, she was strangled to death and died from blunt force trauma.
Gloucester County Prosecutor Sean Dalton said the brothers charged with the murder lured Autumn Pasquale to their home so they could get parts from her BMX bike. Neighbors had told reporters one of the boys liked to buy and sell parts from BMX bikes.
Earlier today, police rolled a white Eastern bike with Animal tires out of the house near where her body had been found in a recycling bin. The bike matched a photo of Pasquale's bike released by the Gloucester County Prosecutor's office: a white Eastern with Animal GLH tires.
Autumn Pasquale would have turned 13 on Monday.