The search for missing New Jersey 12-year-old Autumn Pasquale ended last night with the discovery of the girl’s body in a recycling container, and police are currently investigating the girl’s disappearance and murder.
While no arrests have been made in Autumn Pasquale’s kidnapping, police have admitted the case may be linked to a series of attempted abductions in Bergen County in recent weeks.
Fox News spoke to local law enforcement officials about Autumn Pasquale’s case, and cops say that they are investigating a link to attempted abductions in Westwood, Oradell, Hawthorne, New Milford, Maywood, Hackensack, Fair Lawn and Ridgewood, all in Bergen County.
Westwood Police Chief Frank Regino said that while police are examining all leads, the possibility of a connection between the kidnapping attempts and Pasquale’s death is being examined:
“We are absolutely investigating whether there is a link … There certainly is a possibility and only time will tell. We’re looking into every possible angle that we can.”
Pasquale vanished around noon on Saturday, and the last confirmed communication from the girl was a text sent in the afternoon that did not indicate anything was amiss. Autumn was reported missing at around 9:30 that evening, and her body was discovered Monday night at around 10 pm.
Fox describes two of the the kidnapping attempts in Bergen County, reporting:
“In the Westood case, a 13-year-old girl said she was approached by a man while walking alone to school at around 7:10 a.m. on Thursday. She said the suspect, whom she described as a white middle-age male with a crew cut and receding hairline, pulled up next to her in a gray four-door hatchback. The girl reported seeing an NYPD sticker on the left-front windshield, Regino said.”
The site continues:
“The most brazen kidnapping attempt occurred last week in Hawthorne, where a man tried to drag a 13-year-old girl off a crowded soccer field and into a nearby woods. The girl managed to escape by kicking and screaming, authorities said. The suspect was dressed in a dark hooded sweatshirt and jeans.”
Bergen County Prosecutor John Molinelli told the network that it would be a “real reach” to link the attempts with the death of Autumn Pasquale given the distance between Clayton and Bergen County.