Willow's brother in DCFS custody

Published 09/12 2013 06:42PM

Updated 09/12 2013 06:44PM

WATSON -- A 3-year old is in the custody of the Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) after his big sister was brutally murdered. The story of Willow Long is making national headlines and it's tearing a local family apart. WCIA-3's Megan Brilley has more.

Thomas Long moved down south years ago, but when he came back to his hometown, his world was turned upside down.

"There's no words."

Thomas Long says he moved to Texas years ago for personal reasons. He didn't have the best relationship with Willow's mom, Ciara, but always kept in touch with his little girl.

"How do you feel knowing a family member was involved in all of this?"

"I just can't believe it. I just can't believe it."

Since Long's only child was murdered, he hasn't spoken with Ciara. The story she told investigators isn't adding up with the evidence, but police won't say if she's facing any charges.

"I'm not here to play the blame game or any other reason. I'm here for Willow."

DCFS says it got a call on its hotline about Willow on Sunday. Her little brother was taken into custody Tuesday. Long isn't the boy's father.

DCFS is investigating Ciara. Willow's uncle, Justin DeRyke, is charged with first degree murder. He's been given time to find an attorney before his next court date which is Thursday.

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