Man arrested in Watson for first degree murder


UPDATE 130PM :The Effingham County States Attorney confirms 22 year old Justin DeRyke is being held for the murder of 7 year old Willow Long of Watson. DeRyke is the maternal uncle of the deceased child.

The States Attorney says all indications are the death is a homicide. Formal charges will be filed Wednesday.

DeRyke will appear in court tomorrow afternoon.


UPDATE 1:00pm: Our partners at told WAND that DeRyke is the uncle of 7 year old Willow Long. He was taken into custody and is being charged with first degree murder. also tells us DeRykee, Willow's mother, and Willow's half brother all live with DeRyke's parents in southwest Watson.


BREAKING 12:00 PM - Watson - Police have made an arrest for first degree murder. Justin DeRyke, 22, has been arrested.


There have been numerous reports that Justin DeRyke is the uncle of Willow Long. The States Attorney has not released information confirming those reports at this time. However, they have confirmed he is in the Effingham County Jail on first degree murder charges.


On Monday night around 7:30, four volunteer searchers found the body of a small child in an area south of the village of Watson in Effingham County. No positive ID of the body has been made at this time. An autopsy to determine the child's identity and cause of death is scheduled.


Willow long was last seen Sunday at her home in Watson.


Hundreds of volunteers searched near Long's home Monday.


An Amber Alert for Willow was not issued

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