Chippewa Falls mourning loss of 10-year-old girl

Published: Apr. 26, 2022 at 6:11 PM CDT
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CHIPPEWA FALLS, Wis. (WEAU) -The tragic death of Iliana “Lily” Peters rocked the Chippewa Falls community.

Even before law enforcement found Lily’s body, the community showed a tremendous outpouring of support for Lily.

There have already been vigils and makeshift memorials like the one near Leinenkugel’s.

Mayor Greg Hoffman says people in his community are hurting and emotions are running high.

“I mean, it’s unbelievable that a ten-year-old girl would be killed and it just doesn’t happen in Chippewa Falls and doesn’t happen in the Chippewa Valley,” Hoffman said.

Lily was last seen riding her bike Sunday night.

Eric Henry says his eight-year-old daughter’s birthday is coming up and she originally asked for a bike but changed her mind.

“I went, I held my daughter and I told her I love her and we were kind of trying to lighten the mood and I asked, are you still excited to go look at bikes with Dad? And she pouted and she said, Dad, I don’t want a bike anymore, I’m scared,” Henry said.

Several people asked why an Amber Alert wasn’t issued when Lily was reported missing. Law enforcement said Lily’s disappearance didn’t meet the criteria for an Amber Alert.

Henry started a petition that already has more than 17,000 signatures to create a “Lily Alert " in hopes of having communities search sooner in cases like this.

“We have cell phone towers. We’re in the nation of Big Brother. There’s got to be a way that we can send based on a radius, a text message to say to the community and let them know, please be on the lookout. My daughter’s missing. She was wearing this. She was last seen on her bike, headed to grandma’s around this neighborhood because ultimately people wanted to help,” Henry said.

Carl Smiskey owns the Chippewa Store. They are giving out stickers and buttons for a donation to Lily’s family.

“This is just horrible what happened here. I’ve got two daughters and my one daughter, she went to Parkview, you know, just up the hill. And I went over the bridge today, past Leinenkugel’s, and I broke down because I, I can’t believe that happened here in Chippewa Falls,” Smiskey said.

Smiskey says the stickers were made and given to him by Rocky Kempe of Chippewa Falls, and it inspired him to create the Justice for Lily buttons.

“Well, I’m not a cop. I can’t do anything. But this is. This is my gift and talent, and this is what I can do. And when I see other business owners doing the same thing. That just tells me I’m in the right community,” Smiskey said.

Smiskey says he is working on making more Justice for Lily buttons to help her family. He says more stickers and yard signs will also be available. A memorial fund has also been set up at Royal Credit Union to help Lily’s family pay for any funeral expenses.

To learn more about the Lily Alert petition, click here.

Mayor Hoffman also says he is considering putting out a reward for information.

Police have already set up a tip line people can call if they have information at 1-800-263-5906.

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