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Funeral set for murdered New Jersey girl

By Chris Boyette, CNN
updated 8:17 PM EDT, Wed October 24, 2012
Autumn Pasquale will be buried Saturday after a funeral Mass in Clayton, New Jersey.
Autumn Pasquale will be buried Saturday after a funeral Mass in Clayton, New Jersey.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Funeral for 12-year-old girl killed in New Jersey will be Saturday
  • Two juveniles charged with first-degree murder will appear in court Friday
  • Police were led to pair of brothers by the teens' mothers
  • Authorities are considering charging the pair as adults

(CNN) -- Family, friends, and other mourners will lay to rest the body of Autumn Pasquale, the 12-year-old-girl prosecutors say two teenage neighbors murdered last week in Clayton, New Jersey, on Saturday.

A public viewing will be held from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, followed by a funeral Mass at Our Lady of Lourdes Church in Glassboro. Burial will be at Cedar Grove Cemetery in Clayton, according to Barclay Funeral Home.

"I know she's up there..." a distraught Anthony Pasquale, Autumn's father, told CNN affiliate WPVI in Philadelphia. "She's in good hands. She's going to be watching over us. She's going to be our little angel."

"She'd want us to stay strong," added Jenn Cornwell, Autumn's mother.

Two teenage brothers were arrested Wednesday and charged with first-degree murder in Pasquale's death, according to authorities.

"The brothers are ages 15 and 17 years old, and both are in police custody," Gloucester County Prosecutor Sean Dalton said Tuesday, adding that the younger brother had also been charged with one count of luring.

Prosecutors believe Autumn was lured this past weekend to the home of the boys' family, where they murdered her -- possibly for her BMX bike, which police found among some of the girl's belongings when they searched the site early Tuesday.

Autumn's body was found Monday in a recycling container. Dalton said she was strangled and died from blunt-force trauma, but based on preliminary findings, there were no signs of sexual assault.

Police were aided by the suspects' mother, who contacted police because of a suspicious Facebook posting, according to Dalton.

The young suspects turned themselves in, accompanied by their court appointed attorneys, on Tuesday.

"We're strongly considering waiving them to adult court. However, we want to let the process take its part," Dalton said.

In New Jersey, authorities are not permitted to release the names of juveniles charged with a crime.

"They need to pay for what they did for my daughter," Cornwell told WPVI.

According Bernie Weisenfeld, spokesman for the Gloucester County Prosecutor's office, the juvenile defendants are due in court Friday morning for a detention hearing.

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