• Girl allegedly killed by uncle eulogized as loving

    by  • September 16, 2013 • News

    EFFINGHAM (AP) — The father of a 7-year-old southern Illinois girl who authorities say was killed by her uncle told

    Willow Long

    Willow Long

    mourners attending her funeral that she was “wonderful and perfect.”

    The Effingham Daily News reports Thomas Long was among those who addressed about 150 mourners who attended services Monday for Willow Long at Effingham’s First Baptist Church.

    Authorities say the girl was stabbed to death a little more than a week earlier near her home in Watson, about 100 miles northeast of St. Louis. Her uncle, Justin DeRyke, is charged with first-degree murder and remains jailed, awaiting a court appearance Thursday.

    Thomas Long said during the services that his slain daughter was loved by all.