The body of Autumn Pasquale, the 12-year-old girl from Clayton, New Jersey reported missing on Saturday when she failed to return home, has been tentatively identified by police today.
Pasquale was last seen alive Saturday, leaving her home on a white BMX bike just before noon. Autumn, who was to turn 13 on October 29, became the subject of a massive search Saturday night after she was reported missing at 9:30 pm.
At a press conference Monday afternoon regarding Autumn Pasquale’s disappearance, police said that in the 48 hours the girl had been missing, 75 individuals had been interviewed by police in the investigation to locate the girl.
Parents Anthony Pasquale and Jennifer Cornwell did not speak at the conference but wept quietly at an evening vigil shortly before Pasquale’s body was located.
A body matching the description of Autumn Pasquale was found at about 10 pm in a recycling container in Clayton. Although police have said the discovery constituted a “preliminary identification” and the family of Pasquale had been notified, official confirmation has not yet been made.
Gloucester County Prosecutor Sean F. Dalton commented on the sad discovery of the body believed to be that of Autumn Pasquale in a statement. Dalton said:
“This is a very sad day for the Pasquale family … Our hearts go out to the family and to all the residents of Clayton who stood together in support of this young girl.”
Police said several sex offenders had been questioned in the disappearance and presumed murder of Autumn Pasquale, and the investigation continues.