Prosecution responsibilities for the Autumn Pasquale murder case will be handled by prosecutors from Camden County after the slain 12-year-old’s family moved toward filing a civil lawsuit against the Gloucester County Prosecutor’s Office.
The county prosecutor had been leading efforts in the court cases against the two brothers charged with killing Pasquale in Clayton in October. Now, the Camden County Prosecutor’s Office will handle the matter, but still within Gloucester County.
“While the preference of the Gloucester County Prosecutor’s Office would be to continue prosecuting to conclusion the criminal case resulting from the murder of Autumn Pasquale, it is no longer possible for it to do so due to the Pasquale family’s decision to hire a civil attorney, who has since filed notice of a potential civil law suit against the office,” Gloucester County Prosecutor’s Office spokesman Bernie Weisenfeld said in a statement.
“This decision on their part has created a potential conflict which also compromises the ability of the Gloucester County Prosecutor’s Office to discharge its duties under the Crime Victims Bill of Rights.”
From almost the beginning, the Pasquale family spoke out against county efforts to find Autumn, whose body was recovered two days after she disappeared while riding her bike. The family recently called for Gloucester County Prosecutor Sean Dalton to not be reappointed.
Weisenfeld strongly defended county efforts to find Pasquale in a statement Wednesday.
“During this investigation, over 200 law enforcement officers from in and around Gloucester County worked tirelessly to find Autumn Pasquale,” he said. “While all indications are that this crime occurred hours before the police were first notified of her disappearance, law enforcement personnel, within 63 hours of this notification, were able to recover her body, arrest two individuals for the crime and place them in custody.”
Weisenfeld added that any civil claim against the prosecutor’s office regarding the case is “clearly without merit, frivolous and will be vigorously defended to the fullest extent permitted under the law.”
The brothers charged with killing Pasquale—allegedly strangling her and dumping her body in a recycling bin—remain jailed. They have not been charged as adults.
For more on the Autumn Pasquale case, see:
- Authorities Searching for Missing 12-Year-Old Autumn Pasquale
- UPDATE: Body of Autumn Pasquale Found
- UPDATE: Autumn Pasquale's Bike Found Near Body
- Prosecutor: Teen Brothers Strangled Autumn Pasquale
- Social Media Outrage Follows Autumn Pasquale Death
- Prosecutors: Try Teens Charged in Autumn Pasquale's Murder as Adults
- Judge Denies Media Access to Proceedings in Autumn Pasquale Case
- County to Name Bike Trail for Autumn Pasquale