4-Year-Old Rilya Wilson’s Murder Highlights Everything That Is Wrong in This Country

Rilya WilsonRilya Wilson was just 4 years old when she disappeared from her foster home in Florida. Finally 66-year-old Geralyn Graham, the woman most suspect is guilty of killing her, is going to face trial. Graham has pleaded not guilty to first-degree murder and has told judges she is innocent and with no body, it could be hard to convict someone.

Poor little Rilya’s body hasn't been found. Police have no witnesses to any killing and very little hard evidence to go on, but an alleged confessions Graham made to other jail inmates stating that she killed Rilya and buried her near a lake may be enough to convict.


Someone needs to pay for Rilya’s death. The little girl would be 16 now. Part of what was so heartbreaking about the case was how much everyone failed her. Documents were falsified so that no one had to admit she was missing, no one was checking up on her. She was a little girl left adrift. Once we all cared, it was too late.

As a mom, the idea that anyone could let a 4-year-old disappear without caring is repugnant. As Frederica Wilson said in her column for the Miami Herald, “Rilya technically belongs to all of us.” She does. And yet it took 18 months to report her disappearance.

It’s heartbreaking. It’s wrong. It brought sweeping change to the Florida foster care system, but it needs to be a case we talk about more. For some reason, it’s not. Some people think it’s because Rilya was African-American. It might.

But she was also a foster child, a child whose biological parents were not caring for her for whatever reason. There are many reasons cases like these don’t end up on Nancy Grace. None of them are good. Sure, cases like Jon Benet Ramsey and other pretty little upper middle class girls haunt us. But the fact is, the murder or disappearance of ANY child should be wrong and receive national attention.

Little Rilya may finally get justice. But until real changes in the way we report these stories happen, nothing will really change. Let’s hope someone pays for this crime.

Does this story make you angry? Why do you think so few outlets reported on it?

Image via -JvL-/ Flickr

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