Effingham Daily News, Effingham, IL

January 9, 2014

State waits for evidence in Willow Long case

Jackson Adams
Effingham Daily News

EFFINGHAM — Another hearing has been set for 22-year-old Justin DeRyke, who is accused of killing his niece Willow Long, as the state waits for evidence.

In Effingham County Circuit Court Thursday, DeRyke's attorney, Scott Schmidt, said the defense is still waiting to receive further motions of discovery from the state and asked for another hearing in late January or early February, which would allow time to file any motions.

Effingham County State's Attorney Bryan Kibler said the state is still waiting to receive DNA analysis from the Illinois State Police crime lab in Springfield. The results were supposed to be returned in the first week of December. Kibler said his office has been trying to make contact with the lab to have evidence returned as soon as possible.

"We are attempting, but we can't control that," he said. "I apologize."

DeRyke is scheduled for another appearance at 11 a.m. on Feb. 4.