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Facebook messages lead to 2 arrests in murder of 12-year-old girl

Teen brothers Justin and Donte Robinson have been charged in the muder of Autumn Pasquale, after authorities found incriminating Facebook messages exchanged. 


Fernando Alfonso III


Posted on Oct 26, 2012   Updated on Jun 2, 2021, 8:40 am CDT

Digital footprints on social media have helped police arrest two teenagers in connection to the death of a 12-year-old New Jersey girl.

Justin and Donte Robinson, 15 and 17, have been charged with murder, conspiracy to commit murder, improperly disposing of a body, tampering with evidence, and theft after police discovered incriminating Facebook messages sent by the brothers.

Autumn Pasquale’s body was found stuffed in a recycling container Monday after she had been missing for four days. News of her death has captured the country’s attention, with candlelight vigils planned and Facebook remembrance pages created, each of which her alleged killers have taken part in.

“On Sunday night, he [Justin] attended a candlelight vigil where hundreds of residents prayed for Autumn’s safe return, several Clayton residents said, ” the Star-Ledger reported. “Later on, they said, the 15-year-old apparently ‘liked’ a Facebook page dedicated to the rescue effort.”

Other Facebook messages between Pasquale and Justin provide a haunting look into what might have been the girls last interaction. The following Facebook conversation was published by the Star-Ledger.

“Is that ur bike?” asked Autumn, a BMX bike enthusiast.
“Yeupp,” the 15-year-old suspect replied.
“Thts sexy!” she said.
“lol thxx,” he replied. “… yes. cme 2 my house.”

The motive behind the murder remains unclear but police believe the brothers lured Pasquale from her home on her BMX motocross bicycle with the intention of stealing parts from it. According to the boy’s father, both brothers have a history of stealing bike parts, CBS News reported.

The Robinson brothers are expected in court today.

Photo via Facebook

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*First Published: Oct 26, 2012, 12:46 pm CDT