Updated: Aug 4, 2021
Steven Wayne Butler III, 14 was last seen July 29, 2021 at 5:10PM leaving his residence at 5:10 PM in Champaign, Illinois
July 30, 2021 It is with a heavy heart we must report that Steven Wayne Butler III has been located deceased. Our hearts are heavy as we give our condolences to Steven's family and those who know and love him.
July 30, 2021 there was a body located on a ditch by High Cross Road and East Washington Road, 9 miles away from Steven's home.
July 30, 2021 about 11:00 AM it was confirmed that Steven's death was a homicide and someone has been arrested in connection to his death. Daryl A Vandyke, 55 also of Champaign who lived about 1 1/2 miles from Steven's home was charged in connection to Steven's disappearance and death. While there is additional information, we will not be giving any investigation information, as this is ongoing, and we are all looking for justice.
It is important that we share with each of you information necessary in our organization.
We are not here to 'say it first'. A young boy was murdered. That's someone's life, not someone's news. While the family may update their posts, there are other factors involved, which is why the information that has been put out today, was not put out yesterday. Law Enforcement is conducting a death or murder investigation, and while some of you may not understand the details involved in an investigation, we must.
When we update, we know it is time and we are not infringing on the investigation, or the family's time to fully be notified and have time. That is more important than the public awareness.
Steven was a young boy mowing lawns for neighbors for his summer. He was loved by his family, and many hearts are broken for Steven and his family.
Fly High Steven.
July 31, 2021
***UPDATE*** We have spoken with Steven Butler's Dad and he has agreed for all of us to come together. Our organization want the community and all of us to come together to grieve, and to show Steven and his family the love and support we all feel. The support that his family needs in their darkest hours.
***MONDAY, AUGUST 2, 2021 AT 8:00 PM*** The Missing Persons Awareness Network NFP 501(c)3 team will be together with Steven's family and loved ones. Please join us at:
***WILLIS PARK*** On the corner of West Harvard Street and North Willis Avenue in Champaign, Illinois
Please bring gifts for Steven's siblings and family (such as cards, flowers, teddy bears and letters) as we comfort the family and say goodbye to Steven. Additionally, The family needs money for services on Steven's funeral, and bringing it to them directly would greatly help them.
Together with the family, we want to ask for change. It is time that the law makers of Illinois join us in doing what it takes to prevent the killing of our children with whatever it takes. Only our law makers can make these changes.
***MEDIA*** You are welcomed to come, but there will be no private interviews with the family at this time, however on this night we will be answering questions unrelated to the ongoing criminal investigation.
Join us for Steven. Join us for change. This is the real way of how to save our children.
There has been an enormous amount of hurtful words and comments that were posted to Steven's family's Facebook page. This is unacceptable. The family does not need website links and discussions. It is unfathomable that people could have taken this route.
Steven's family are putting together statements for us to read later in a live feed at some point today. Please follow our notifications for the upcoming life in a new post on our page.
Champaign Police Department Press Release 7/31/2021
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.
8/3/2021 & 8/4/2021
Vandyke was arraigned and he is pleading not guilty.
He was given a court appointed attorney.