Autumn Pasquale was, from all accounts, a sweet and active 12-year-old girl. She had an upcoming birthday and loved riding bikes. It was this latter activity that may have led her into the hands of the 15- and 17-year-old brothers accused of killing Pasquale.
Obviously just the fact that the accused are so young is disturbing in itself. But perhaps even worse is the fact that all of this was over bicycle parts.
According to some sources, the brothers were known as bicycle thieves and a bike that appeared to be Pasquale's was taken from their home late Tuesday night. The boys' Facebook pages also shed some light on who they are.
Apparently, the younger brother actually "liked" the Find Autumn Pasquale Facebook page. That detail just makes it all the more sick. Did he know what he was doing? Was it calculating? Or was he feeling guilt or remorse?
It's impossible to know.
What we do know is that a young girl is dead and the only motive anyone has so far is bicycle parts. What are those worth? $200 at best? I would almost not believe it if it weren't all over the news. Because really, it's absurd. It's senseless. It's so tragic I can barely breathe.
Perhaps the worst detail is that, like in the Whitney Heichel murder, the accused was a neighbor. These boys lived down the street from Pasquale. They may have seen her pass on her bike in Clayton, New Jersey a thousand times. What made this time different? Had they been watching her?
These details will emerge as the case goes along. And a few months from now, some equally horrific crime will eclipse this murder and take it out of the news cycle.
But for the family, they will wonder forever how their daughter or sister could have been saved. Was there anything different they might have done? Sadly, the answer is no. There is no lesson here for parents, it seems. This is as senseless an act as we have seen in years. This was no child predator or evil kidnapper waiting in the bushes.
The accuses are two young teenagers. They were neighbors of Autumn's. There is nothing anyone, except the suspects and maybe their mother, could have done differently. And that fact will keep me up at night.
Do these new details shed any light on this killing for you?
Image via ganesha.isis/Flickr