Justin DeRyke, uncle of Willow Long, arrested for her death

Justin DeRyke

Justin DeRykeEffingham, IL (KTVI) – The Effingham County State’s Attorney says Justin D. DeRyke of Watson, Il has been arrested for the murder of Willow Long.

DeRyke is Long’s uncle, according to officials. In a news release Tuesday, State’s Attorney Bryan Kibler said an autopsy confirmed the identity of Long after her body was found Monday night by volunteer searchers.

Long was reported missing on Sunday after her mother awoke from a nap.  Hundreds of volunteers searched for Willow on Sunday and Monday.

Authorities say late Monday evening, some of those searchers found a child’s body just outside the village of Watson.

At 5:55 a.m. Tuesday, DeRyke was arrested by the Illinois State Police.  Kibler says his office will file First Degree Murder charges against DeRyke on Wednesday, pending the possibility of additional charges.

DeRyke will make his first court appearance on Wednesday.

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