New developments have been released in the criminal case against 39-year-old Julius Juan Lilly, who police say killed 4-year-old Reba Lynn Marie Ryan of Ellerbe last week.
According to authorities, Lilly was arrested on Friday morning after lawmen received a call that the child had been murdered at a residence on Ledbetter Road in Ellerbe.
Richmond County Sheriff James Clemmons Jr. said on Monday afternoon that Lilly’s charges have been increased from the open murder charge he faced on Friday.
“As of today, they approached the grand jury and got a true bill of indictment for first degree murder and felony child abuse with serious bodily injury,” the sheriff said.
He also confirmed that Lilly was a “live-in boyfriend” of the child’s mother.
“Our case is still ongoing,” Clemmons said. “We have received an opinion from the autopsy (as to cause of death) … ,” the sheriff said, but he did not elaborate. Clemmons said details of the death will not be released until autopsy results are “received by the D.A.”
Lilly remained in custody on Monday afternoon, held without bond. Records of the N.C. Department of Correction show Lilly has a criminal history and has spent time in state prison.
According to her obituary, handled by Pugh Funeral Home, Reba “loved playing outside, country music, playing spoons, her dog Taz, and her mama and daddy. She also loved to dance and she loved her grandparents.”