NATIONAL NEWS

Illinois man who confessed to 2004 sexual assault and murder of 3-year-old girl dies in prison

Dec 10, 2023, 1:02 PM

CHICAGO (AP) — A man who confessed to the 2004 sexual assault and murder of a 3-year-old Illinois girl has died in a state prison, according to state records.

Scott Eby, 52, an inmate at the Menard Correctional Center, died Thursday, according to an online inmate notification system.

The death of Riley Fox, whose body was found in a creek near her home, generated national headlines at the time because her father was wrongly accused in case initially. Kevin Fox spent eight months in jail before being cleared by DNA evidence. He died earlier this year in a car crash in Arkansas.

Details on the circumstances of Eby’s death were not released. The Will County State’s Attorney’s Office confirmed the death to media outlets but did not offer further details. An Illinois Department of Corrections spokesperson didn’t return email and phone messages left Sunday.

In 2010, Eby, then a convicted sex offender, confessed to kidnapping Riley Fox from her Wilmington home, sexually assaulting her and drowning her in a creek. Wilmington is about 60 miles (97 kilometers) from Chicago.

Authorities were led to Eby from DNA evidence collected from the crime scene along with other clues, including a pair of Eby’s shoes pulled from the water with his name written in them.

Kevin Fox’s former attorney, Kathleen Zellner, called Eby’s death “some measure of justice for Riley” in a Sunday statement.

“It is ironic that Kevin Fox and Scott Eby both died in 2023. Kevin’s death was a terrible tragedy for him and his family,” she said. “He was a kind, gentle man who loved his children above all else.”

Riley Fox’s parents were awarded more than $8 million in damages after they accused Will County investigators of fabricating evidence.

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