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DeRyke Pleads Guilty to Murder of Willow Long

DeRyke Pleads Guilty to Murder of Willow Long

Photo: Newsradio WTAX

Justin DeRyke has pleaded guilty to first-degree murder in the death of his neice, 7-year old Willow Long.

Our news partners at WAND-TV report Justin DeRyke, 22, entered the plea in Effingham County Circuit Court Tuesday afternoon.

Long’s body was discovered in a wooded area near her home after a search was launched involving hundreds of volunteers.  She was found with numerous stab wounds to her neck, apparently made with a stick — wounds DeRyke initially said were accidental.

DeRyke will receive a life sentence.

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