Clayton, NJ – At the time I typed this, officials have not officially identified the body that was found in a recycling container, but they preliminarily identified the body as that of Autumn Pasquale, the 12-year-old who was reported missing on Saturday.
Authorities said Pasquale was last seen around 12:30 p.m. Saturday riding her bike. A friend of her said that she exchanged text messages with her that day, the last one received at 1:22 p.m. that she did not believe was intended for her. She said the message read, “don’t be like that.”
Police say the last text she sent was at around 2.30 p.m. and that there was nothing alarming or unusual about it. She was reported missing at 9:30 p.m. after not arriving home by her 8 p.m. curfew. By Monday, about 200 law enforcement officials and hundreds of volunteers were out looking for her. By 10 p.m., she was found.
Investigators have not said exactly where in Clayton her body was located, other than saying that it was a few blocks from her home inside a recycling bin. An autopsy is to be conducted today to positively identify the body is Pasquale’s. Investigators say they have talked to at least 75 people, but that they do not have any suspects or know she left on her own or was the victim of foul play.
The Daily News reported that investigators did search one man’s house after a K-9 dog supposedly had picked up a scent. They left after only 20 minutes. The owner told reporters that he understood why authorities might have deemed him “suspicious” as his back window was broken, and he is friends with many teen girls on Facebook because he has a young sister.
Police are now questioning two teens who live next door to where Autumn’s body was discovered. The New Jersey Times has photos of a bike matching the description of Autumn’s being removed from the home beside the abandoned one where Autumn was found.
Autumn would have celebrated her 13th birthday on Oct 29.