On Thursday, July 29, at approximately 7:36 p.m., Champaign Police were notified of a missing 14-year-old juvenile from the 900 block of Harvard Street, Champaign. Champaign Police contacted the father of the reported missing juvenile, who informed police the juvenile left the family’s residence at approximately 5 p.m. Attempts were made to contact the missing juvenile and a search of the neighborhood was conducted without success and a Champaign Police Missing Person’s report was generated. Investigative efforts to locate the missing juvenile by Champaign Police officers were unsuccessful.
On Friday, July 30, at approximately 7:01 a.m., the Champaign County Sheriff’s Office was dispatched to the 3400 block of East Washington Street, Urbana for a report of a deceased individual that was discovered by two bicyclists. The Champaign County Coroner’s Office responded to the scene in the 3400 block of East Washington Street and later identified the victim as the missing 14-year-old teenager, Steven Butler III.
Through a joint investigation by the Champaign County Sheriff’s Office and the Champaign Police Department, a person of interest was identified. The suspect in the homicide was identified as Darryl Vandyke, 55, of Champaign. Investigators learned Vandyke had a Douglas County arrest warrant for Contempt of Court and was subsequently arrested at approximately 10:57 a.m. in the 500 block of North Russell Street, Champaign on that warrant.
As the investigation progressed and while Vandyke was in custody, a potential crime scene was located. The Champaign County State’s Attorney’s Office obtained a search warrant for the premises of a private residence. With the assistance of the Illinois State Police Crime Scene Investigations Unit, additional evidence was recovered from the property. Based on the evidence and information learned during the investigation the Champaign County State’s Attorney obtained a warrant for Vandyke’s arrest on preliminary charges of First-Degree Murder. Judge Randy Rosenbaum issued the warrant, with bond set at $2,000,000.00.
Vandyke was transported to the Champaign County Correctional Center where he is awaiting future court proceedings.
Although an arrest has been made, the investigation is on-going, and anyone with information about this incident is asked to please contact police at 217-351-4545. Arrangements may be made for information to be shared privately. If you wish to remain anonymous you may also submit tips to Crime Stoppers by phone at: 217-373-8477 (TIPS); online at 373tips.com; or the “P3 Tips” mobile app.
Champaign Police reminds citizens that information submitted to Crime Stoppers is completely anonymous. Calls are routed to a third-party national call center that receives your information, completes a tips information form, and then passes the information to the appropriate law enforcement agency. Caller ID tracking is not utilized by Crime Stoppers and conversations are not recorded.
All individuals are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.