The murders of Autumn Pasquale, of Clayton, N.J., and Saanvi Venna, of Upper Merion, have ended a tragic week in the Philadelphia-area.
Both cases have made national headlines and shaken their respective communities. Pasquale, 12, was found dead Monday after a two-day search. Ten-month-old Saanvi was discovered by authorities Friday after being abducted Monday.
The two cases are equally gruesome and have some striking similarities. Both happened in fairly quiet communities. Both girls were allegedly killed by neighbors. And, in both instances, the alleged killers attended vigils for the victims and were engaged in the search.
The two teenage brothers charged with killing Pasquale, 15-year-old Justin Robinson and 17-year-old Dante Robinson, were ordered to be held for trial. The teens were initially charged as juveniles, but prosecutors said Friday they plan to waive them to adult court. Metro normally does not name juvenile suspects, but is doing so in this case because their family has spoken to the media. Police said Autumn was lured to the house for the purpose of trading bike parts.
Raghunandan Yandamuri, 26, the man accused of murdering Saanvi and her grandmother, Satyavathi Venna, was ordered held without bail following an arraignment Friday. Police said he confessed to kidnapping the girl in hopes of getting a $50,000 ransom because he thought the family had the money.
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