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Man Indicted for Murder of Niece

An Effingham County, Illinois Grand Jury yesterday indicted 22-year-old Justin DeRyke for the murder of his niece, 7-year-old Willow Long.

DeRyke was indicted on 3 counts of first-degree murder.

The indictment replaces a criminal complaint against DeRyke containing those same charges.
DeRyke is accused of stabbing Willow Long to death earlier this month near the family's home in Watson.

Investigators say DeRyke insisted he killed his niece to "put her out of her misery" after he says she fell onto a brush pile and pierced her neck with a stick.

DeRyke is to appear in court again today.