EFFINGHAM COUNTY, Ill. (WTHI) - The State's Attorney in Effingham County filled charges against a man accused of murdering his niece.
Justin DeRyke is facing three counts of first degree murder.
DeRyke’s niece Willow Long, 7, was reported missing over the weekend in Watson, Ill. Hundreds of people searched for Willow.
Search crews found her body Monday night in a wooded area near Watson.
DeRyke claims he chased Willow out of the house on Sunday, she tripped and fell into a pile of sticks and one of the sticks went into her neck.
DeRyke said he wanted to end her suffering so he slit her throat and stabbed her in the heart.
After that, DeRyke covered the body in a plastic bag secured with duct tape and drove to a a body of water south of Watson and dumped her off.
He will be back in court next week on the 19th of September.
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