Justin Deryke says he was just trying to put his 7-year-old niece "out of her misery" when he killed her over the weekend.
Officials say autopsy results contradict his story. Deryke claims he was watching a movie with Willow Long over the weekend when she allegedly scratched his arm. He became angry and chased Willow out of the house. He says she fell into a brush pile and a branch stabbed her in the neck. That is when Deryke says he got a knife and stabbed the girl to death.
The autopsy shows Willow had defensive wounds on her hands and that casts doubt on Deryke's story.
Willow's 3-year-old brother has been taken into protective custody.
In an effort to voice their anger and concern, minority officers in the St. Louis city police department met with the department's highest-ranking black commanders about issues they believe illustrate racism within the ranks and the need for reform.
The St. Louis Post Dispatch reports about 30 members of the Ethical Society of Police packed the special meeting convened to call black commanders to action in the wake of a racist letter sent to a black police officer allegedly by another officer in South Patrol.
The group’s president, Sgt. Darren Wilson, said last week that the racist note was symptomatic of a larger, citywide problem. Wilson asked “If you’re treating a police department employee like this, how are we treating our citizens?” Wilson opened Wednesday’s meeting by saying black leaders must do more to increase the number of black commanders on the force by reforming the promotion process.
Meanwhile, Deputy Police chief, Lt. Col. Alfred Adkins, believes black officers share responsibility in striving for equality saying, "You cannot just sit on the sidelines and complain. You can’t say the process is unfair if you’re not involved in it.”
Highway 94 was closed in both directions between H and Church Rd. for several hours while the Missouri Highway Patrol investigated a fatal accident.
A man attending to some yard work in St. Charles County was killed this morning after being hit by a car that spun off the roadway. The accident happened shortly after 7:30 on Highway 94 at Church Road. The Highway Patrol says the car spun off the roadway, hit an embankment and flipped over several times, striking the victim. He died at the scene. The driver was injured and transported to the hospital. Authorities did not say what caused the driver to lose control.
No charges have been filed and the names of the victim and driver have not been released.