Services set for slain southern Illinois girl

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Associated Press

EFFINGHAM, Ill. (AP) - Services are set for a 7-year-old southern Illinois girl who prosecutors allege was stabbed to death by an uncle.
   
Authorities say Willow Long was killed late Saturday or early Sunday near her home in Watson, an Effingham County village 100 miles northeast of St. Louis.
   
Prosecutors have charged 22-year-old Justin DeRyke with three counts of first-degree murder. Authorities 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.
   
Willow's services will be at 11 a.m. Monday at First Baptist Church in Effingham, followed by private burial.
   
Visitation will be from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday at Effingham High School.
   
DeRyke remains jailed on $5 million and is hiring an attorney.

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