EFFINGHAM — Ciara DeRyke, mother of Willow Long, was arrested Monday for providing false statements during the investigation into WIllow's disappearance.
DeRyke was arrested at 2 p.m. Monday by Illinois State Poliice officers in Effingham. According to ISP Master Sergeant and Zone 7 Investigator Ryan Shoemaker, DeRyke contacted Illinois State Police Monday informing them she was aware of a warrant for her arrest. Shoemaker and ISP Investigator Tim Brown then drove to DeRyke's residence in Effingham and made the arrest without incident. She was arrested on charges of obstructing a peace officer.
"Ciara DeRyke related to these officers on Sept. 8 that she had observed and interacted with her daughter earlier that same morning," said Effingham State's Attorney Bryan Kibler. "We believe that, in making such a statement, Ms. DeRyke was knowingly furnishing false information."
Kibler said the state's attorney's office was conducting an investigation into DeRyke's knowledge or involvement in the murder before charging her with obstructing a peace officer.
"We were just waiting to clear her of anything to do with the murder and intentionally covering it up," he said. "After reviewing everything, we concluded that she had nothing to do with the murder. She gave a false statement that hampered the investigation but didn't intentionally try to make fase statements that had anything to do with the murder and officially covering it up."
The obstructing charge against DeRyke is a Class A misdemeanor, punishable by up to one year of incarceration.
Kibler requested bail be set at $75,000 which was honored Monday morning by Judge Sherri L.E. Tungate. Kibler said bail was set unusually high for a misdemeanor charge due to the amount of resources used as a result of what DeRyke told police.
"Because of her not telling the truth up front, we weren't able to find Willow as soon as we could have," Kibler said.
DeRyke is likely to appear for arraignment at the Effingham County Government Center Tuesday at 11 a.m.
Jackson Adams can be reached at 217-347-7151, ext. 131, or at email@example.com.