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Teen suspect strangled and sexually assaulted 10-year-old slain Wisconsin girl, prosecutor says

A 14-year-old boy was held on $1 million cash bond Wednesday in connection to the death of a 10-year-old Wisconsin girl whose body was found Monday.

10-year-old Iliana M. Peters.
10-year-old Iliana M. Peters.Chippewa Falls Police Department

The identity of the teen suspect was not said during a court hearing Wednesday afternoon before Chippewa County District Court Judge Benjamin Lane, who ordered attorneys to only refer to the suspect by his initials. Iliana “Lily” Peters, 10, was found Monday morning after she went missing the previous day, according to Chippewa Falls police.

In court Wednesday, county prosecutor Wade Newell said the girl died a violent death, and the suspect made statements to investigators saying as much.

The teen punched the girl “in the stomach, knocked her to the ground. … Hit her with a stick before strangling her to the point of death before then sexually assaulting her,” Newell said.

He added, “Given the statements the defendant made to law enforcement, that his intention was to rape and kill the victim from the get-go when he left the house with the victim going down the trail, the state believes there is a need to protect the community.”

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The boy was at a juvenile detention facility with his attorneys during the hearing, attorneys said. His defense attorneys requested $100,000 cash bond over video conference.

The girl’s father reported her missing after she did not return home from her aunt’s house, Chippewa Falls Police Chief Matthew Kelm said during a news conference Monday.

Her bike was found a few blocks away from her aunt’s house, and on Monday morning, her body was discovered in a wooded area.

In a news conference Tuesday announcing an arrest in the case, Kelm said the juvenile suspect was known to the victim. But he declined to elaborate.

Kelm said authorities searched a home related to the girl’s death in Chippewa Falls, north of Eau Claire, but declined to provide additional details about the warrant.

More than 200 tips that authorities received about her death were “critical to solving this case,” he said.

If bond is posted for the suspect, Lane ordered the boy to not have weapons and to stay away from other juveniles who are not his siblings.

Elisha Fieldstadt contributed.