Missing 14-year-old found dead in Illinois, friend of victim's father accused of murder

Source: Champaign County Correctional Center

Aug. 1 2021, Published 2:21 p.m. ET

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A missing teen in Illinois was found dead and now a friend of the victim’s father faces a first-degree murder charge.

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On July 29, 14-year-old Steven Butler III was reported missing by his father, according to Champaign police. The father reported the boy missing around 7:30 p.m. after he left the home around 5 p.m.

Police searched the neighborhood but could not find the boy.

The next morning, two bicyclists found remains around 7:00 a.m. The remains were identified as Butler, according to Champaign police.

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Police and the Champaign County Sheriff’s Office investigation and identified Darryl Vandyke, 55, as a person of interest. He was arrested a few hours after the teen was found.

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Authorities said they found a potential crime scene and investigated a home. But officers did not detail a possible motive for the killing.

Vandyke was a friend of Butler’s father, according to the News-Gazette. Officials also told the news organization that the teen died from blunt-force trauma.

Champaign police charged Vandyke with first-degree murder, and he is being held in jail on $2 million bond. Police continue to investigate the killing and anyone with information is asked to contact Champaign police at (217) 351-4545.


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