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Funeral set for Ill. girl who was stabbed to death

Published: Friday, Sept. 13, 2013 7:28 a.m. CST

WATSON — A funeral will be held Monday for a 7-year-old southern Illinois girl who authorities say was stabbed to death by her uncle.

Services for Willow Long will be held Monday at Effingham's First Baptist Church. It's set to begin at 11 a.m.

A visitation is scheduled to take place Saturday at the Hearts Rock Cafe in Effingham High School from 5 to 9 p.m.

Twenty-two-year-old Justin DeRyke was charged Wednesday with first-degree murder. Prosecutors say he told investigators he killed his niece to end her suffering after she accidentally fell onto a brush pile and pierced her neck with a stick near the family's home in Watson.

DeRyke is being held on $5 million bond and hiring an attorney. He's set to appear again in court next Thursday.

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