North American Missing Persons Network
 
Rilya Shenise Wilson

1 2 3
4 AP
Above Images: Wilson, circa 2001; Age-progressed to 10 (circa 2006)


Vital Statistics at Time of Disappearance

  • Missing Since: January 18, 2001 from Miami, Miami-Dade County, Florida
  • Classification: Endangered Missing
  • Date Of Birth: September 29, 1996
  • Age: 4
  • Height: 3'0"
  • Weight: 40 lbs.
  • Hair Color: Black
  • Eye Color: Brown
  • Race: Black
  • Gender: Female
  • Distinguishing Characteristics: Rilya has a scar
    approximately five inches below her navel. Pierced ears.
  • NCIC Number: M-932377381
  • Case Number: 226235A


  • Details of Disappearance
    Rilya and her two siblings were removed from their mother's custody and placed with her grandmother Geralyn Graham, in Miami, Florida in 2000. Florida's Department Of Children and Families (DCF) was obligated to check on the childrens' well-being during monthly visits. The final recorded visit for the family took place in early January 2001, when their counselor Deborah Muskelly stopped by Graham's residence.

    Graham told authorities that an unidentified African-American female arrived at her home in the 10130 block of southwest 145th Place on January 18, 2001. The individual claimed to work for the DCF and said that she was removing Rilya from the home for an evaluation. Graham said that the alleged abductor spoke with a thick accent that may have been African in origin. Graham claimed that the woman was extremely familiar with Rilya's history and said that Muskelly was aware of her visit. Graham stated that two other people visited her home in February 2001 and requested additional toys to help Rilya become accustomed to her new surroundings.

    Muskelly and her supervisor, Willie Harris, resigned from the DCF in March 2002 amid accusations that records of home visits were fraudulent. The agency contacted Graham during its investigation into Muskelly's records. Authorities learned about Rilya's possible abduction in April 2002, 15 months after she disappeared. The Florida Legislature passed the Rilya Willson Act that requires closer monitoring of children in DCF’s care. Graham said that Muskelly was not one of the individuals who visited her home one month after Rilya disappeared.

    Geralyn Graham is currently in prison for both identity fraud and Medicaid fraud for accepting payments on behalf of Rilya after she no longer had the child in her care. A break in the case came in 2004 when a jailhouse informant told authorities that Graham confessed to suffocating the girl and disposing of her body in a canal. In August 2004 she was charged with kidnapping and child abuse in connection with Rilya's disappearance. Graham's former domestic partner, Pamela Graham, was charged with two counts of a lesser degree of child abuse/neglect.

    In March 2005 a Miami-Dade County grand jury indicted the former caregiver of Rilya on charges of first-degree murder, more than four years after the child disappeared. The grand jury's indictment is the first time officials acknowledged that they have concluded Rilya was killed. The charges against Geralyn Graham are related to smothering, suffocating or beating the child to death sometime in December 2000.

    Geralyn Graham is standing trial in 2012. She is charged with first-degree murder, kidnapping, and aggravated child abuse. She could face the death penalty if she's convicted. Wilson’s body was never found, and Graham maintains that she is innocent. In 2013 Geralyn Graham was sentenced to 55 years in prison for kidnapping and child-abuse convictions in connection to Rilya's disappearance.


    Investigating Agency
    If you have any information concerning this case, please contact:
    Miami-Dade Police Department
    (305) 418-7302


    Source Information
    National Center For Missing and Exploited Children
    Florida Department Of Law Enforcement
    Child Protection Education Of America
    CNN
    Child Welfare Reform