Effingham Daily News, Effingham, IL

Local News

December 19, 2013

Willow's mom pleads not guilty to obstruction charge

Bond lowered

EFFINGHAM — The mother of slain Willow Long pleaded not guilty this morning to charges that she lied to police about seeing her daughter the morning of her disappearance.

Ciara N. DeRyke, 26, is charged with obstructing a peace officer, a Class A misdemeanor punishable by up to a year in jail. DeRyke's daughter, Willow Long, was found dead by volunteer searchers south of Watson on Sept. 9. Judge Sherri Tungate set pretrial for 10 a.m. Jan. 16 and jury selection for 8:30 a.m. Feb. 10.

DeRyke has been accused of misleading police by lying that she had seen her daughter earlier on the morning of Sept. 8 when Willow would have already been deceased, according to testimony. Authorities allege her statements triggered a misguided search that involved more than 1,000 volunteers in blazing heat — and caused three searchers to receive treated for heat-related symptoms.

Ciara DeRyke's younger brother, Justin, has been charged with first-degree murder in connection with Willow's death. His next court appearance is Jan. 9.

Also at Thursday's hearing, Tungate lowered Ciara DeRyke's bond from $75,000 to $15,000 after defense attorney Barry Schaefer successfully argued that the woman had ties to the area and was not a flight risk. Schaefer also noted that Ciara DeRyke had a limited criminal history with no felonies on her record.

For more, see Friday's print edition.

Text Only
Local News
  • Meth suspect pleads not guilty

    The Beecher City man accused of operating a methamphetamine lab in a Shumway home pleaded not guilty during a brief Thursday morning appearance in Effingham County Circuit Court.

    April 24, 2014

  • tony- community garden 2.jpg Perfect time to plant

    Steve Luchtefeld loves onions.

    April 24, 2014 1 Photo

  • Hofer hearing delayed

    Proceedings were continued Wednesday for an Effingham woman accused of driving under the influence of drugs at the time of a traffic accident that killed a Watson teenager on her way to school.

    April 24, 2014

  • Missouri driver ejected, killed Tuesday ST. ELMO -- A driver from Missouri was killed when the semi she was driving overturned on Interstate 70 Tuesday. Royce E. Horton, 50, of Highlandville, Mo., was driving a maroon and white Freightliner truck-tractor westbound at 3:36 a.m. Tuesday on I

    April 24, 2014

  • Stew-Stras to upgrade technology STRASBURG -- With no new technology purchased since 2011, new computers will finally be coming to Stewardson-Strasburg Schools starting next year. Superintendent Michele Lindenmeyer said the district will be rolling out technology in phases over the

    April 24, 2014

  • Semi driver dead in accident on I-70

    A semi driver from Missouri was killed when their vehicle overturned on I-70 Tuesday.

    April 23, 2014

  • Shumway meth suspects plead not guilty

    Two of the four arrested in a Shumway methamphetamine bust earlier this month pleaded not guilty Tuesday in Effingham County Circuit Court.

    April 22, 2014

  • Man found dead from gunshot wound ST. ELMO -- Fayette County authorities are investigating two unrelated deaths over the weekend. Matthew Austin, 47, of St. Elmo was found dead in his pickup by a family member at 9:30 p.m. Saturday at 501 W. Cumberland Road in St. Elmo. Austin appear

    April 22, 2014

  • Library seeks community support

    With a bid letting set for September and renovation of the old Fifth Third Bank slated to begin in December, the Library Board is actively looking for community support in fundraising. 

    April 21, 2014

  • Effingham man gets five-year sentence for meth lab

    An Effingham man was sentenced to five years in prison Monday on a charge of participation in methamphetamine manufacturing.

    April 21, 2014

AP Video

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.