Body identified and uncle charged with murder - Tri-State News, Weather & Sports

Body identified and uncle charged with murder

Justin Deryke, 22. Justin Deryke, 22.
Willow Long Willow Long

The body of a missing Illinois girl has been identified and the girl's uncle is arrested and charged with murder.

According to NBC affiliate WTWO, the uncle of 7-year-old Willow Long, 22-year-old Justin Deryke, is in custody facing a first degree murder charge.

Deryke was arrested about 5:55 a.m. Tuesday.

Around 7:30 p.m. Monday a child's body was found by four volunteers searching for Willow.

An autopsy conducted Tuesday afternoon confirmed the body belonged to Willow Long. Police say all indications are that the death is a homicide.

Willow was last seen Sunday at her home in the 730-resident village of Watson. The body was found just south of the tiny community.

Authorities say the girl's mother discovered her daughter was missing after taking a 90-minute nap. When she got up, Willow's toddler brother pointed at the door.

More than 400 volunteers, using infrared detection equipment, dogs and all-terrain vehicles, searched for Willow on Monday.

Watson is about 100 miles northeast of St. Louis.

Deryke will be in court on Wednesday afternoon.

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