Mother of girl allegedly killed by uncle charged with lying to police

Dec. 10, 2013 at 8:01 PM

EFFINGHAM, Ill., Dec. 10 (UPI) -- The mother of an Illinois girl allegedly killed by her uncle has been charged with lying to police after she reported her daughter missing.

Ciara DeRyke, 26, faces up to a year in prison if she is found guilty of obstructing the investigation by Effingham County sheriff's deputies, KSDK-TV, St. Louis, reported.

The body of Willow Long, DeRyke's 7-year-old daughter, was found Sept. 9, wrapped in plastic bags and secured with duct tape, near Watson in Effingham County, a rural area in the southern part of the state. Her mother had reported her missing a day earlier.

DeRyke's brother, Justin, 22, allegedly told police that on Sept. 7, a Saturday, he had been watching Willow and her younger brother while their mother was out with friends. He said Willow scratched him and then ran away, impaling herself on a stick accidentally.

Justin DeRyke said he cut Willow's throat because she was in pain. He has been charged with first-degree murder.

Investigators say when Ciara DeRyke first called police she said her daughter disappeared while she was taking a nap Sunday and that she had seen Willow that morning.

Bail was set at $75,000.

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