“Lily Alert” petition seeks to supplement Amber Alerts in light of 10-year-old’s death

Change.org petition to create the "Lily Alert."
Change.org petition to create the "Lily Alert."(WBAY)
Published: Apr. 28, 2022 at 10:20 PM CDT
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Chippewa Falls, Wis. (WBAY) - An effort driven by the death of Lily Peters is gaining national attention. Organizers want Wisconsin lawmakers to create a new alert system for missing children.

Eric Henry of Chippewa Falls says he lives four blocks away from where Peters’ body was found.

“Really kills me inside, you know? For her to go missing and then...they find a bike sometime in the morning and then they locate her body. A good 10 hours went by. I could’ve walked there in 2 minutes,” Henry said.

Henry began a petition on Change.org that is one of the fastest growing on the platform, according to the company, and at the time of publishing this story, it has more than 65,000 names.

“I’m pretty much committed and all in on this. I’d like to see this as far as I can take it. If anybody can help me in any way,” Henry said.

Henry is hoping the Wisconsin legislature could create the “Lily Alert” for cases that don’t meet the criteria of a traditional Amber Alert.

Those alerts require authorities to believe a child, 17 years old or younger, is in danger of serious bodily harm or death. In addition, there must be enough descriptive information about the child, the suspect or the suspect’s vehicle to provide to the public.

“I would think that we could’ve sent out an alert based on a radius. I mean, we’re in the technology age, we have cell phone towers and satellites. It just makes sense to me that we could’ve sent something,” Peters said.

Preliminary autopsy results ruled the cause of death of the Chippewa Falls girl as a homicide. According to the Chippewa County coroner, the autopsy showed Peters suffered strangulation and blunt force trauma.

Iliana Peters, who went by Lily, was first reported missing Sunday and her body was discovered Monday morning on a trail near her home. Within days, a 14-year-old boy was arrested and charged with three counts, including first-degree intentional homicide and two counts of sexual assault. Police say he knew the victim.

Chippewa Falls Police Chief Matthew Kelm told Action 2 News he’s open to the concept of a “Lily Alert,” but he needs to speak to and hear from other stakeholders before advocating for it.

State Sen. Kathleen Bernier (R-Chippewa Falls) was quoted in the Leader-Telegram on Thursday, “I don’t want to do a knee-jerk reaction before all the facts are fully out.”

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