UPDATE 10/22/13 –
Willow’s mother, Ciara DeRyke, is facing drug charges in Shelby County.
According to court records, the charge for possession of drug paraphernalia was filed against her on Tuesday.
UPDATE 9/16/13 –
According to court documents nobody saw Willow alive on Sunday at all, because Willow’s mom was at a local bar on Sept. 7 and she had left her and her brother home with Justin DeRyke.
She returned home around midnight, a probable cause statement said.
Justin was reinterviewed by Illinois State Police at 11:09 p.m. on Sept. 9 where he stated that around 11 p.m., he walked from the bathroom to the bedroom after watching a porno flick. Willow stopped him and began to tug on his arm to ask him to watch TV with her. He said she scratched him and made him bleed, and he got mad. Documents further state Justin said that Willow ran out the door and she “tripped, falling into a brush pile where the family dumps cat litter and impaling her neck on a stick.”
“According to the defendant, he believed he had to end her suffering” after he saw her twitching on the ground, the probable cause statement said.
Warning: Below details are disturbing:
DeRyke went into his bedroom, picked up a knife and slit her throat and tried to stab her in the heart approximately five times, according to the document. He later wrapped her body in plastic bags and dumped her body.
An autopsy showed Willow’s throat had been slashed and she had suffered a laceration to her collarbone area. A smaller stab wound had fatally severed her sub-clavicle vein. The autopsy also noted defensive wounds on Willow’s hands.
UPDATE 9/11/13 –
Long’s grandfather Dale DeRyke, told KMOV News her death was an accident. He said that Justin was with Willow when she fell on a stick in the yard and it went through her neck.
“He was scared, He hid her body, he was scared,” DeRyke said.
Police noticed early on that Justin DeRyke never helped in the search and neighbors noticed he was drinking beer than showing concern for Willow.
I believe the police had their suspect figured out at the very beginning and needed to help find Willow to confirm their suspicions.
Willow’s uncle, Justin DeRyke, 22, was arrested Tuesday morning and charged with first-degree murder of Willow.
Willow’s body was found south of Watson close to the Little Wabash River. Willow’s body was found wrapped in a bag submerged in water in a rural area south of Watson.
“On Monday at approximately 7:30 p.m., four volunteer searchers located the body of a small child in an area south of the village of Watson,” the statement released by Effingham County State’s Attorney Bryan Kibler Tuesday said.
“No positive identification of the body has been made at this time,” the statement said. “An autopsy to determine the child’s identity and cause of death is scheduled for later this morning.”
Now we know why they called off the volunteer search.
Justin is very tall at 6’5″ and according to him went to college and was happy, so why would he hurt his sister’s child?
UPDATE 9/9/13 – Willow’s purple long oversized shirt was found in the home. Waiting for an update on what clothing she might be wearing. Her dad Thomas Long is on his way to Watson from Texas.
“I think it’s an abduction, but not for ransom,” said Dale De Ryke, Willow’s maternal grandfather. Willow and her mother, Ciara had been living with De Ryke.
“I think it’s an abduction, but not for ransom,” said Dale De Ryke. Young Willow and her mother, Ciara De Ryke, had been living with the elder De Rykes at a home on Circle Drive in Watson.
Previous story: Willow Long, 7, is missing from 104 Circle Drive, in Watson, Illinois. since around 8:30 a.m. on September 8.
They believe she walked away from her home Sunday morning and she has been missing since. The Effingham Daily reports that mom, Cierra Deryke checked on the kids around 8:30-8:45 that morning and then went back to bed not feeling well. She woke back up around 10:45 and Willow was gone and the 3-year-old lead her to believe that Willow went out the door.
Sunday before returning to bed, feeling ill. She woke up and came back downstairs at 10:45 to find Long missing and her 3-year-old son indicating that she had went out the door, leaving the residence.
There are early rumors and one is that Willow left after she got mad at her mom, leaving with just her clothes, no shoes and no glasses. The other rumors is that the mom was taking a nap and when she woke up Willow was gone.
The authorities and over 400 volunteers have searched for her over a 20 square mile radius but have not located her. A dog has picked up Willows scent by some corn fields. The authorities used an Air Evac helicopter with thermal imaging to search for her tonight.
The community has come together to look for Willow and will likely continue until she has been found.
Willow is 4-foot tall and has shoulder-length red hair.
If you have any information as to her whereabouts, please call the Effingham County Sheriff’s Department at 217-342-2101.
|Taken May 2013