Scott Eby, who confessed to 2004 murder of Riley Fox, dies in Illinois prison

The man who confessed to the 2004 murder and rape of 3-year-old Riley Fox has died in a prison in southern Illinois. 

Scott Eby was serving a life sentence at Menard Correctional Center in Chester. Will County officials confirmed that the Wilmington man died while incarcerated this week. 

Riley Fox was kidnapped and murdered on June 6, 2004. She was found later that same day not far from her home in Wilmington, drowned in the Forked Creek near Forsythe Woods Forest Preserve, according to the FBI. 

Kevin Fox, Riley's father, was initially charged with killing his daughter, but was cleared in 2005 by DNA evidence.

[L-R] Scott Eby and Riley Fox. (Illinois State Police)

He was awarded a $15.5 million settlement after suing Will County officials for wrongful arrest. The award was later reduced on appeal to $8 million.

Despite the fact that shoes with his name inside them were found in the creek where Riley was found, Eby — who lived near the Fox family — wasn’t charged until 2010 after someone tipped off FBI agents reinvestigating the case.

Wanted poster disseminated by the FBI in 2009. 

Eby could’ve faced the death penalty, but prosecutors agreed to a life sentence in return for a guilty plea.

Kevin was killed in a car crash in Arkansas in March 2023 at age 46. 

Kathleen Zellner, Kevin’s former attorney, hailed news of Eby’s death in a social media post: "Finally justice for Riley!"

The Sun-Times contributed to this report.