CHAMPAIGN, Ill. (TCD) -- A 55-year-old man was taken into custody on a charge of first-degree murder after a 14-year-old boy's body was discovered in a ditch by cyclists on the morning of July 30.
The Champaign Police Department said in a statement the victim's father spoke with police the night before he was found and told officers the teen, Steven Butler III, was last seen at around 5 p.m. on the 900 block of Harvard Street. Officers reportedly searched the neighborhood for Butler, but they did not find him.
At approximately 7 a.m., deputies from the Champaign County Sheriff's Office were dispatched to the 3400 block of East Washington Street in Urbana. Two bicyclists reportedly found a body, who was then identified as Butler by the Champaign County Coroner's Office, the police department said in their statement.
Champaign Police worked in conjunction with the Sheriff's Office and identified Daryl Vandyke as a person of interest in the case. Vandyke reportedly had an outstanding warrant for contempt of court. He was arrested at 10:57 a.m. on the 500 block of North Russell Street, the police department said.
Champaign County State's Attorney Julia Rietz told The News-Gazette Vandyke knows Butler's father and they are acquaintances, but did not elaborate. Reitz said Butler suffered from blunt force trauma. A full autopsy was scheduled for this week.
According to The News-Gazette, Butler's father wrote on Facebook, "His phone was shut off. He has never just stayed gone. He never leaves for more than an hour at most. He left his money and didn’t have anything other than his phone. Please help!! He doesn’t know anyone here. No friends. He left to mow a yard and the guy said he came and mowed. That’s the last he was seen or heard from. God please bring my son home."