Ciara DeRyke Pleads Guilty to Obstructing a Peace Officer


Published on January 28 2014 11:45 am
Last Updated on January 28 2014 5:48 pm
Written by Greg Sapp

The mother of Willow Long has pleaded guilty to obstructing a peace officer.

Ciara DeRyke agreed to the negotiated plea during a court hearing Tuesday morning before Judge James Eder.

In exchange for the guilty plea, DeRyke was placed on 18 months probation including 120 days in Effingham County Jail.  However, she qualifies for day-for-day good time and has already served 51 days in jail, meaning she will be released next Thursday, February 6.  She will also have to pay a $75 fine standard on all criminal cases and will have to pay a $10 monthly probation fee until she completes the term.

DeRyke admitted to lying to authorities when she told two Effingham County Sheriff's deputies the morning of Sunday, September 8 that she had seen Willow alive that morning.  She recanted that statement when interviewed by Illinois State Police investigators the morning of Tuesday, September 10 and admitted that she had not seen Willow since going out for the night on Saturday, September 7.  Authorities believe Ciara's brother and Willow's uncle, Justin DeRyke, killed Willow that night and disposed of the body before Ciara returned home.

Assistant State's Attorney Scott Ealy prosecuted the matter since State's Attorney Bryan Kibler is home ill.  Ealy said the outcome is "fair and appropriate because a conviction was entered.  Today is a sad day just as it was sad in September.  It also recognizes that a woman lost her daughter and that she had no involvement in that."