Authorities Seen Working in Area Near Willow's Home


Published on September 12 2013 10:05 am
Written by Greg Sapp

Investigators working on the murder of Willow Long were at a property near Willow's home on the south end of Watson Wednesday.

Illinois State Police Zone 7 Investigations Lieutenant Kelly Hodge today said the investigation is ongoing.  Hodge said investigators are following leads and collecting evidence. 

While the investigation continues, Effingham County State's Attorney Bryan Kibler said Wednesday he feels there was no one else involved in Willow's death and that there is no reason for the public to be concerned for their safety.

Effingham County Chief Deputy Sheriff John Niccum today said State Police are heading the ongoing investigation and said Sheriff's Department Investigator Bill Arnold is assisting the State in the investigation.

Willow's uncle, Justin DeRyke, was charged Wednesday with three counts of first degree murder in Willow's death.  He is due in court next Thursday for his first court appearance with his attorney.  However, a grand jury is to meet next Wednesday and Kibler said DeRyke's case would be among those considered.