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Chippewa Falls police increase presence near schools amid investigation into 10-year-olds death

Police are continuing the search for a suspect in the death of a 10-year-old girl in Chippewa Falls, Wisconsin, and are increasing a law enforcement presence around nearby schools.

The body of Illiana “Lily” Peters was found Monday morning near a walking trail.

According to the Chippewa Falls Police Department, the girl was last seen by family members Sunday evening. Her father contacted police at 9 p.m. after he said she had not returned from a visit to her aunt’s house.

Police reported a bicycle believed to belong to the girl was found in the woods a short distance from her aunt’s house, near a walking trail between the end of North Grove Street and the Leinenkugel brewery’s parking lot.

During an update Monday afternoon, Chippewa Falls Police Chief Matthew Kelm reported that the girl’s body was found at about 9:15 a.m. near the walking trail.

“I grew up here all my life, never heard of anything like this,” neighbor Jeremy Machnik said. “It’s a scary situation when you know … we’re just inside the house … and it’s Sunday afternoon, we’re cleaning and making dinner and that’s going on a block away from our house and it’s scary.”

Machnik’s kids often played with Peters, and he described seeing her riding her bike up and down the street often.

Kelm said a homicide investigation is underway and he stated no one is currently in custody in connection with the incident. Kelm asked the public to remain vigilant “as there may be a danger to the public.”

Anyone with information is asked to call the tipline at 1-800-263-5906.

Meanwhile, Chippewa Falls police reported Tuesday there will be an increased law enforcement presence around schools, especially during pick-up and drop-off times.

Stay with 5 EYEWITNESS NEWS and for updates on this developing news.

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