The parents of Autumn Pasquale, the slain 12-year-old from southern New Jersey, said they wanted the two teenagers charged with the murder of their daughter to be tried as adults.
“They need to pay for what they did to my daughter,” said Jennifer Cornwell, Autumn’s mother.
Two brothers—Justin Robinson, 15, and Dante Robinson, 17—were arrested and charged with Autumn’s death, officials announced at a press conference Tuesday, three days after Autumn went missing.
The 12-year-old disappeared Saturday afternoon after leaving her home to visit a friend. Her body was found Monday around 10:30 p.m. in a recycling container five blocks from her home.
Police say the teen brothers lured Autumn into their home with the intention of stealing her BMX bike and then strangled her.
Autumn’s parents spoke to NBC10 about their loss and the outpouring of support they’ve received from the community.
“It touches everyone and I know they feel for us,” said Autumn’s father, Anthony Pasquale. “You cannot imagine the way we feel right now. We don’t wish this on anybody.”
While they’re grateful for the efforts of the police department, they also say there seemed to be a lag time in the investigation.
“We’re thankful that we’ve caught the people that did this to our daughter,” said Cornwell. “However when we first reported her missing it just seemed like a very slow process for a 12-year-old to be gone this long and nobody out there viciously looking for her.”
The parents are asking New Jersey’s Attorney General to make sure everything was done to find their daughter.
“We would like to have somebody sit down to investigate and look to make sure that all the proper channels were taken," said Cornwell.
Gloucester County Prosecutor Sean Dalton made the following statement in a press release:
The Gloucester County Prosecutor's Office's investigative units poured their hearts and souls into this investigation and worked around the clock to find Autumn. I'm very proud of what they did under such difficult circumstances. This is a time to start the healing process and let the justice system move forward with this case.