EFFINGHAM, IL - A man in Illinois has been charged with the murder of his 7-year-old niece after claiming that she fell on a stick andneeded to be put “out of her misery.”
Willow Long, 7, lived at her grandparents’ home with her mother, Ciarra and her uncle, Justin. Willow was reported missing on Sunday after her mother said she lay down for a nap, leaving the girl watching television with her 3-year-old brother, and woke up to find she’d vanished.
When she asked her son about Willow’s whereabouts, the boy pointed to the front door. Willow had apparently changed clothes before leaving the house, and had left her glasses behind. After failing to locate her, Willow’s mother called police.
Investigators were first working on the theory that Willow had left the house to re-enact scenes from THE PRINCESS AND THE FROG, the movie she was allegedly watching when she was last seen, so the search initially focused on nearby bodies of water.
More than 300 volunteers and members of the FBI, the Effingham County Sheriff’s Office, the Watson Police and the Illinois State Patrol took part in the search that ended 30 hours later, when four volunteers found Willow’s body a few miles from her home. She’d been wrapped in several garbage bags that were sealed with duct tape.
On Wednesday, police would arrest 22-year-old Justin DeRyke after he was brought back in to be re-interviewed and ended up confessing to murdering Willow.
DeRyke told investigators Dale and Deborah were on the road Saturday night and Ciarra left him to babysit her children so she could go to a bar. He said that at around 10:30pm he was walking to his bedroom after watching porn in the bathroom when Willow grabbed his forearm and asked him to watch television with her.
Willow accidentally scratched him and drew blood, according to Justin, and he got so angry that he chased Willow out of the home. Willow ended up tripping and falling onto a brush pile, and was impaled in the neck by a stick.
Investigators propped up their feet to avoid the rising level of bullshit, as Justin explained that Willow started twitching, and he felt he had to put her out of her misery. So he retrieved a knife from his bedroom, knelt beside Willow and slit her throat before stabbing her in the heart around five times.
Justin was arrested and charged with thee counts of first-degree murder, and has been ordered jailed on $5 million bond.
An autopsy would reveal Willow suffered numerous knife wounds, including a slash across her throat and a stab wound that severed a vein. Cuts on her hands suggested there may have been a struggle. What the autopsy does not mention, is if she was sexually assaulted and made no mention of a neck wound caused by a stick.
Justin’s father seems to be buying his son’s story, however. “He’s thinking, `Oh my God, I killed her or she’s died. They are going to blame me,’” he said after recently buying the Golden Gate Bridge for $5. “He’s not thinking correctly. He tries to hide her. He’s scared.”
But the thing I find stranger than Justin’s bullshit explanation as to how Willow ended up dead inside some garbage bags, is Willow’s mother story to police.
If Willow was killed Saturday night, as Justin claims, how could she have possibly seen her daughter watching television Sunday morning before she lay down for a nap? When Effingham County State’s Attorney Bryan Kibler was asked about this, he gave a cryptic answer.
“What is a lie is not always clear,” he said.Tags: Ciarra DeRyke, Crime, Illinois, Justin DeRyke, Murder, Stabbing, Willow Long