That’s apparently what cost 12-year-old Autumn Pasquale her life.
Police in Clayton, N.J., not far over the Commodore Barry Bridge in Gloucester County, yesterday arrested two teen boys - ages 15 and 17 - and charged them in the stangulation death of the little girl who had been missing since Saturday. They lived a few doors down.
She was last seen leaving her house on her white BMX bicycle, headed for a friend’s house.
She was not the only one who prized that bike. It might have cost Autumn her life.
Police theorize the two teens, who live just down the street in the normally quiet, tidy town, had their eyes on it as well. They wanted it for the parts. They were known to refurbish similar bikes.
Police believe they lured little Autumn to their house, then strangled her. All so they could cannibalize her bike for the parts.
There is a rage that rises up within you when you read stories like this. You force yourself to swallow the bile, to not lash out, to wonder what kind of society we live in that can produce kids willing to do this without batting an eye.
It’s becoming increasingly more difficult to do.
Instead, you just shake your head and wonder.
And, of course, hug your kids just a little tighter each day.