EFFINGHAM — The mother of murder victim Willow Long pleaded guilty in Effingham County Circuit Court Tuesday to misleading police after her daughter’s disappearance.
Ciara N. DeRyke, 26, was sentenced to 120 days in Effingham County Jail and placed on 18 months probation in a deal approved by Judge James Eder. DeRyke had been charged with one count of obstructing a peace officer as a result of statements she made to police on the morning of Sept. 8 — when she reported her daughter missing.
Willow’s body was found in a rural area south of Watson after a massive search involving more than 1,000 people in blazing heat. Ciara DeRyke’s younger brother Justin has been charged with the girl’s murder. His case is still pending.
Because day-to-day credit is standard in misdemeanor cases, as well as credit for time served, Ciara DeRyke is scheduled to be released from jail Feb. 6. She had been jailed since her arrest last Dec. 9.