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Murder Victim's Mom Charged With Obstruction

The mother of 7-year-old murder victim Willow Long has been charged with obstructing a peace officer.

Ciara DeRyke, 26, of Effingham, is charged with knowingly obstructing the work of Effingham County sheriff's deputies on September 8, during the initial investigation into Willow's disappearance.

Effingham County State's Attorney Bryan Kibler said DeRyke told officers on September 8 that she had interacted with her daughter that morning. Officials believe that by making that statement, DeRyke knowingly furnished false information.

Kibler said investigators do not believe DeRyke participated in the murder, or knew her child had been murdered at the time of her statement to officers.

DeRyke is in the Effingham County jail on $75,000 bond.

Willow's uncle, 22-year-old Justin DeRyke, is charged with first-degree murder in connection with the case. His trial is set to begin February 10.