Man arrested for the murder of Willow Long -, NewsCenter17, StormCenter17, Central Illinois News-

Man arrested for the murder of Willow Long


Watson - A man has been arrested after hours of searching for a missing 7 year old girl.


The Illinois State Police arrested Justin DeRyke, 22, for the murder of Willow Long. DeRyke is the maternal uncle of Willow.


Willow went missing Sunday morning from her home in Watson. Hundreds of volunteers and police searched for Willow on Monday until volunteers were called off for heat. Volunteers were called back at 5 p.m. to resume the search. 


Around 7:30 p.m. Monday night four volunteers found a small child in an area south of the village of Watson in Effingham County. An autopsy confirmed the identify of the body to be Willow Long.


DeRyke is being held in the Effingham County Jail, awaiting formal charges. He will appear in court Wednesday, September 11, at 1:00 p.m.


The Effingham County Sheriff's Department and the Illinois State Police continue to investigate.

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