Effingham Daily News, Effingham, IL

Local News

September 10, 2013

BREAKING: Uncle arrested in connection with missing girl

WATSON — The uncle of the Watson girl presumed to be found dead Monday evening has been arrested on suspicion of first-degree murder.

Effingham County correctional officers confirmed Tuesday that Justin D. De Ryke, 22, of Watson, had been arrested at 5:55 a.m. by Illinois State Police investigators.

De Ryke is the younger brother of Ciara De Ryke, the mother of 7-year-old Willow Long, who was reported missing by her mother Sunday morning.

Jail personnel said no other family members had been arrested in connection with this case.

An initial court appearance is pending. State's Attorney Bryan Kibler plans to conduct a news conference sometime this afternoon with more details.Unit 40 Superintendent Mark Doan said Effingham schools are trying to find a way to best deal with the emotions involved at this time.

“We have a crisis team in place and have for the last couple of days,” he said.

Doan said counselors will be available at every building to speak with students and staff, and the district is working on a way to present the information truthfully to students and making that information appropriate to each grade level.

Doan said the district would be releasing more information later today.

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