Illinois funeral home paying for Willow Long's services - Tri-State News, Weather & Sports

Prosecutors say uncle stabbed niece to death

Willow Long Willow Long
Justin DeRyke, 22. Justin DeRyke, 22.

An Illinois funeral home has decided that it will pay for the funeral of a young girl who is suspected of have been stabbed to death. 

Bauer Funeral Home, in Effingham, IL, is conducting funeral services for 7-year-old Willow Long and tells 14 News that they will cover the expenses for them.

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

Willow's uncle, 22-year-old Justin DeRyke, is in jail on a $5million bond. Officials say he stabbed his niece in the chest with a knife.

Effingham County prosecutors have charged DeRyke with three counts of first-degree murder.

Court documents show Deryke told police that Willow grabbed his arm Saturday night and scratched him. When he started yelling at her, she ran outside and fell on a nearby brush pile. 

Deryke says a stick pierced her in the neck. He told officials he had to end her suffering so he slashed her throat and stabbed her in the chest. He later wrapped her body in plastic and put it in a nearby river.

Willow's grandfather says his son admits being with Willow when she died.

"He did wrong. He went and tried to hide the fact. He got away with it until the next morning. Then people started looking," Dale Deryke, Willow's grandfather, said.

Authorities say the girl's mother discovered her daughter was missing after taking a 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.

Related Stories:

Copyright 2013 WFIE. All rights reserved.

  • Trending StoriesTrending StoriesMore>>

  • College student arrested; tried to trade chicken alfredo, Sprite for sex

    College student arrested; tried to trade chicken alfredo, Sprite for sex

    Wednesday, December 13 2017 3:38 PM EST2017-12-13 20:38:04 GMT

    Youngstown State University student Albert Maruna was caught red-handed and arrested this week after he allegedly attempted to have sex with a 15-year-old boy, who turned out to be an undercover officer.  

    More >>

    Youngstown State University student Albert Maruna was caught red-handed and arrested this week after he allegedly attempted to have sex with a 15-year-old boy, who turned out to be an undercover officer.  

    More >>
  • Roy Moore responds after Senate loss to Doug Jones

    Roy Moore responds after Senate loss to Doug Jones

    Wednesday, December 13 2017 10:58 PM EST2017-12-14 03:58:33 GMT
    (Source: Moore campaign)(Source: Moore campaign)

    Roy Moore has released a statement following his loss to Senator-elect Doug Jones in Tuesday's election.  Moore released a video to the people of Alabama. The transcript is below: Tomorrow, my wife and I will celebrate our 32nd wedding anniversary. I want to thank her and all my family, for standing with me through this long and arduous campaign. And of course, I want to thank all of you who have stood with me in this very important battle for the future of our country. We ...

    More >>

    Roy Moore has released a statement following his loss to Senator-elect Doug Jones in Tuesday's election.  Moore released a video to the people of Alabama. The transcript is below: Tomorrow, my wife and I will celebrate our 32nd wedding anniversary. I want to thank her and all my family, for standing with me through this long and arduous campaign. And of course, I want to thank all of you who have stood with me in this very important battle for the future of our country. We ...

    More >>
  • Dan Johnson: KY State Rep. kills himself in Bullitt County

    Dan Johnson: KY State Rep. kills himself in Bullitt County

    Wednesday, December 13 2017 11:29 PM EST2017-12-14 04:29:43 GMT

    Kentucky state representative "Pope" Dan Johnson has committed suicide, days after a report surfaced alleging he assaulted a teenage girl in 2013.

    More >>

    Kentucky state representative "Pope" Dan Johnson has committed suicide, days after a report surfaced alleging he assaulted a teenage girl in 2013.

    More >>
Powered by Frankly