Effingham County Man Charged With Killing Niece
by The Associated Press
A Southern Illinois man is jailed on $5 million bond after being accused of stabbing his 7-year-old niece to death.
Effingham County prosecutors charged 22-year-old Justin DeRyke on Wednesday with three counts of first-degree murder.
The criminal complaint alleges DeRyke stabbed Willow Long in the chest with a knife Sunday.
Four of the hundreds of volunteers who searched for the girl found her body Monday night near the small town of Watson, where the girl and DeRyke lived. DeRyke was arrested Tuesday morning.
Authorities have said Willow's mother was feeling ill and went back to bed Sunday morning, only to wake up a short time later and find her daughter missing.
A judge has given time for DeRyke to hire an attorney. DeRyke doesn't have a listed home telephone number.