A PREDATOR is "likely" hunting a small, rural area of Wisconsin where a young girl was found dead in a suspected homicide, a former FBI agent said.
The body of Iliana "Lily" Peters, 10, was discovered in a wooded area not far from her bike on Monday morning outside the Lienenkugel's Brewery in Chippewa Falls, which is a few blocks north of her home.
Lily was riding her bike four blocks from her aunt's house to her house, but never arrived, police said.
The young girl's dad reported her missing on Sunday night.
Chippewa Falls police said, "There could be danger to the public," and beefed up security at strategic times around Lily's school.
The verbiage police used seems to indicate that Lily didn't know the suspect, nor does law enforcement, former FBI agent Jennifer Coffindaffer told The Sun on Tuesday.
Coffindaffer has been following the case closely – but has as many facts as the public.
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Using her wealth of knowledge and extensive history in the field as a federal law enforcement agent, she has created a possible profile of the killer.
She believes the suspect is likely a man who lives, works or visits the area, so he probably didn't flee.
He might have victimized someone else in the region in similar fashion or has illegal pictures of children, she speculated.
"This likely isn't his first rodeo," Coffindaffer said. "Police know they have a predator in that region, or so they believe.
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While stranger murders of a girl 10 or under is "extremely rare," the former FBI agent said, "I think it's leaning towards that."
"These predators are not the boogeyman. They're someone who blends in," she said.
"This predator is watching everything. They’re aware of all the steps everyone is making. They’re watching this case closely.
"I don’t think he would strike again soon, but he’s out there. He has a taste for harming pre-adolescent girls.
"The community need to be hyper vigilant, but that doesn't mean closing school or not going to volleyball practice. That's how the killer wins."
'WHERE WAS THE AMBER ALERT?'
There's been a lot of people on social media – including Coffindaffer -asking why police didn't immediately issue an amber alert.
The alert is a message distributed by a child abduction alert system that asks the public for help in finding abducted children.
"Once they had Lily's description and found her bicycle, it was obvious there was foul play and an amber alert should've been sounded," Coffindaffer said.
"Everyone's cell phones should've been lighting up."
That would've put the community on high alert and on the look out, she said.
It's even more important with today's technology to alert the community early, so they can check pictures or videos on their phones for clues and keep an eye on doorbell cameras.
When reached by email, Police Chief Matthew Kelm told The Sun that a press release would be issued on Tuesday evening.
He declined to provide further details about the cause of Lily's death or any possible leads on suspects.
Anyone with tips is urged to call Chippewa Police at 1-800-263-5906.
WARNING TO PARENTS
A warning was issued by Lily's school, Parkview Elementary, with the administration recommending that parents refrain from letting their children walk to school alone.
"By now, you have most likely heard about the tragic incident that occurred last night into today, claiming the life of a CFAUSD student," the school's superintendent Jeff Holmes said in a Monday statement to parents.
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"We do not plan to formally announce what happened, as we are not privy to those details – we believe that law enforcement needs to be the ones to decide what or how much to share in that regard."
The administration went on to say that counseling services would be made available to students as they deal with the tragedy.
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