Shelbyville Daily Union

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September 12, 2013

Uncle appears in court for niece's death

(Continued)

SHELBYVILLE, IL. —

During a press conference, Kibler would not directly comment on many issues surrounding the case, including the discrepancy in the mother's statements to authorities following Long's disappearance, and particularly that she had made her daughter breakfast Sunday morning — the morning after she was allegedly killed. An estimated time or date of death has not been released.

“What is a lie is not always clear,” said Kibler. When asked during the press conference if lying during a police investigation is a chargeable offense, Kibler said “you cannot lie to police.”

Long's mother and father, Thomas Long, were not at the hearing Wednesday.

Both Kibler and Effingham County Sheriff John Monnet complimented the community, press and law enforcement for everyone's involvement in finding Willow.

“This might be one of the most heartbreaking events in this county's history,” said Kibler. He went on to say that the outpouring of support to find Long helped in the eventual location of her body. The four people who found Willow were turned away Monday evening because of the overwhelming hundreds of volunteers who wanted to aid in the search. If not for being turned away, Kibler said, they wouldn't have found Long's body near the Mason-Watson Interstate 57 on-ramp, where they stopped before returning home. It wasn't the primary search area, he added.

A shaky-voiced Monnet complimented the community's response in the search for Long.

“I've never seen so many people come out,” he said. “Please remember the family in your prayers."

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