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Fri September 13, 2013
Funeral Monday For 7-Yr. Old Girl Believed Stabbed By Uncle
Services are set for a 7-year-old southern Illinois girl who prosecutors allege was stabbed to death by her uncle.
Authorities say Willow Long was killed late Saturday or early Sunday near her home in Watson, an Effingham County village 100 miles northeast of St. Louis.
Prosecutors have charged 22-year-old Justin DeRyke with three counts of first-degree murder. Authorities say he told investigators he killed his niece to end her suffering after she accidentally fell onto a brush pile and pierced her neck with a stick.
Willow's service will be at 11 a.m. Monday at First Baptist Church in Effingham, followed by private burial.
DeRyke is being held on $5 million bond and hiring an attorney. He's set to appear again in court Thursday, September 19th.