Hundreds of people flocked to a small Illinois town to pay tribute to a murdered girl. The body of seven-year-old Willow Long was discovered Monday night on the outskirts of the Effingham County town of Watson. Those who gathered last night for a candlelight vigil expressed disbelief over the child's death. Her uncle, 22-year-old Justin DeRyke, is now charged with three counts of first degree murder.
He reportedly told police he was babysitting the girl and her 3 year old brother on Saturday night, when he stabbed the girl and slit her throat to end her suffering after Willow tripped and impaled herself on a stick. Authorities aren’t saying whether the mother of the girl will be charged for misleading them. Ciara DeRyke originally told police she saw her daughter Willow Long alive around 8:45 Sunday morning, but that she’d wandered away from home a few hours later. The girls body was found by searchers on Monday evening.