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Arrest To Be Made For 7-Year-Old's Death

(via Wikimedia Commons/J. Pelkonen)

Prosecutors in southern Illinois say they're prepared to file murder charges against the uncle of a 7-year-old girl whose body was found near her home in the small town of Watson.

Effingham County State's Attorney Bryan Kibler says he expects to charge 22-year-old Justin DeRyke on Wednesday with first-degree murder in the death of Willow Long. The girl went missing Sunday from her home as her mother napped. Four volunteers searching for Willow found her body Monday night. Watson is just south of Effingham.

DeRyke was arrested Tuesday morning. Officials say an autopsy identified the body was Willow, but they haven't released a cause of death.


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