UPDATED: Uncle charged in death of missing Illinois girl - WREX.com – Rockford’s News Leader

UPDATED: Uncle charged in death of missing Illinois girl

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Justin DeRyke Justin DeRyke

The body has been identified as Long's, but a cause of death was not released.

Her 22-year-old uncle, Justin DeRyke has been taken into custody. First degree murder charges will be brought against DeRyke by Effingham County officials on Wednesday and additional charges may be added later.


The body of a child has been found during the search for a missing seven-year-old Watson, Illinois girl.

Willow Long was last seen at her home on Sunday. Her mother discovered she was missing after taking a 90-minute nap. She told authorities that when she got up, her toddler son pointed at the door. Over 400 volunteers searched for Willow on Monday with infrared detection equipment, dogs, and all-terrain vehicles.

The child's body was located just south of Watson on Monday evening. An autopsy is scheduled for Tuesday.

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