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WJBD - Local News - Mother of 7-Year-Old Watson Murder Victim Charged With Obstructing A Peace Officer

Mother of 7-Year-Old Watson Murder Victim Charged With Obstructing A Peace Officer

By Rob Sussman, WJBD News

EFFINGHAM, IL - The Effingham County State's Attorney's office Monday filed charges of Obstructing a Peace Officer against 26-year-old Ciara N. DeRyke, currently of Effingham.  She is the mother of murder victim 7-year-old Willow Long of Watson. 

DeRyke is charged with knowingly obstructing the work of Effingham County Sheriff's Deputies Philip Hardiek and Larry Finfrock on September 8, 2013, during the initial investigation into Willow Long's disappearance. 

"Ciara DeRyke related to these officers on September 8th that she had observed and interacted with her daughter earlier that same morning," said State's Attorney Bryan Kibler. "We believe that, in making such a statement, Ms. DeRyke was knowingly furnishing false information." 

Kibler would not speculate on DeRyke's motive, but cautioned against one possible theory: "The State's Attorney's office and State Police investigators believe that Ciara DeRyke did not participate in the murder of her child and did not know that her child had been murdered, at the time of her statement to the officers." 

The obstructing charge against DeRyke is a Class A misdemeanor, punishable by up to one year of incarceration. State's Attorney Bryan Kibler requested that Ciara DeRyke's bail be set at $75,000. Kibler's request was honored Monday morning by Judge Sherri L.E. Tunage. DeRyke was taken into custody early Monday afternoon in Effingham without incident.

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