A lawsuit brought by Autumn Pasquale's family accusing authorities of failing to properly search for the 12-year-old girl after she was reported missing, before she was found dead two days later, has been dismissed, the Gloucester County Prosecutor's Office said Wednesday.
The suit, filed in October 2014 in Superior Court in Woodbury, said authorities organized a search of volunteers "miles from" Autumn's home, as opposed to the Clayton neighborhood where she was last seen. Her body was found in a neighbor's recycling bin near the home of Justin Robinson, then 15, who confessed to strangling her.
The Prosecutor's Office - which was listed as a defendant in addition to Monroe Township, Elk Township, Clayton, and the New Jersey State Police - said there was a "voluntary dismissal" of the case May 31.
It's unclear which side sought the dismissal. Gregg Zeff, the attorney who represented Autumn's estate, did not return a call Wednesday. The Prosecutor's Office declined to comment.
In 2014, the Prosecutor's Office called the suit "misplaced," saying "law enforcement could not have prevented the death of Autumn because she was killed several hours before she was ever reported missing."
Her father called Clayton police about the disappearance Oct. 20, 2012, prompting authorities and residents to launch a search for her.
Autumn was last seen at 12:30 p.m. wearing navy blue sweatpants, a yellow "Clayton Soccer" T-shirt, bright blue high-top sneakers, and a silver backpack with Reckless written on it, authorities said. She was riding a white Odyssey BMX bike.
Her parents reported her missing at 9:30 p.m.
A Prosecutor's Office detective found her body.