Monday, October 27, 2008

Rilya Who?

Up until last night, I'd never heard the name Rilya Wilson. Rilya's name came up while I attended the blogtalk show,
Peas In Their Pods

Listen to PEAS IN THEIR PODS on internet talk radio


Now? Neither Rilya's name, nor her story will EVER be forgotten by me. Rilya's beautiful, innocent face will remain with the other names, faces, and stories that haunt my sleep.

Rilya was born Sept. 29, 1996, to a homeless cocaine addict. Ironically, Rilya's name was an acronym for "Remember I love you always." She was taken into state custody when she was less than 2 months old.

POSTED: 3:41 pm EST March 16, 2005
UPDATED: 5:30 am EST March 17, 2005
MIAMI --

A woman who was supposed to be taking care of Rilya Wilson, the foster child whose disappearance three years ago scandalized Florida's child-protection agency, was indicted Wednesday on charges of murdering the 4-year-old girl.

Geralyn Graham was also charged with kidnapping and three counts of aggravated child abuse in the case of the girl who was suffocated or beaten to death sometime in December 2000, the grand jury indictment said. No body has been found, the Miami-Dade County State Attorney's office said. Read More...
Former Caregiver Charged With Murdering Rilya Wilson


By Associated Press
Published April 8, 2005
Geralyn Graham whispered the confession while they shared a cell in August, an informer awaiting a robbery trial says in court papers.
The caregiver charged with murdering foster child Rilya Wilson whispered "I killed it" to a jail cellmate and said she suffocated the 4-year-old because she "had demons," according to the inmate's account in court papers released Thursday.

Robin Lunceford said Geralyn Graham confessed to her and explained that she smothered Rilya with a pillow after Rilya insisted on wearing a Cleopatra costume - something Graham considered evil - for Halloween instead of an angel outfit as Graham wanted. Read More...
Suspect admitted killing Rilya Wilson, cellmate says


By DANA CANEDY
Published: May 3, 2002
Tim Bottcher, a spokesman for the state agency said, ''We know we have folks who don't think we do a good job, and that's their opinion, but we are not necessarily going to respond every time someone says something.''

Kathleen Kearney, secretary of the agency, is not granting interviews, Mr. Bottcher said. In a news conference on Wednesday, she would not answer questions but read a statement in which she took responsibility for Rilya's disappearance.

She also accused a caseworker, Deborah Muskelly, of filing false reports of monthly visits with the girl and a supervisor, Willie Harris, of failing to review the case file.

Ms. Muskelly and Mr. Harris resigned under pressure last month for what the agency said was mishandling of another case. The agency would not provide details of that case, and the two workers could not be reached for comment.

Rilya was supposed to be in state custody, but the agency and her grandmother lost track of the girl for 15 months. They realized she was missing only last week, when a caseworker tried to check on the girl and did not find her at the grandmother's house. The grandmother and state agency each thought the other had custody of Rilya.
Read More...
Case of Lost Miami Girl Puts Focus on an Agency


Posted 10/8/2007 8:14 AM
By Curt Anderson, Associated Press Writer
MIAMI — It's now been more than six years since foster child Rilya Wilson went missing, a disappearance that led to a shakeup at Florida's child welfare agency and murder charges against the little girl's former caretaker.
Yet Rilya's body has never been found and there's little physical evidence against the woman accused of abusing and killing her, 61-year-old Geralyn Graham.
Read More...
Fla. prosecutors build foster child case


It's nearing the year 2009, and of all the information I sifted through, there is one thing I could not find...
One single person to say "I am ashamed to admit it, but I am part of the reason that Rilya is still missing"

Not the child welfare agency who didn't notice the little girl missing for what? 15 months.
[Tim Bottcher, a spokesman for the state agency said, ''We know we have folks who don't think we do a good job, and that's their opinion, but we are not necessarily going to respond every time someone says something.'']

In THIS case, the problem seems to be that NOBODY said ANYTHING!

Geralyn & Pamela Graham, who the state (over) paid to take care of Rilya maintains their innocence.
[Pamela Graham supported allegations of abuse by Geralyn Graham, including claims that Graham tied Rilya to a bed and locked her in a small laundry room for lengthy periods as punishment for misbehavior.] *HERE

Even friends stood quietly by, until it was too late...
[Other friends and acquaintances reported similar incidents, as well as unusually numerous bruises, scratches and other injuries suffered by the girl.] *HERE

One friend even gave AID to this abusive situation!
[One friend, Detra Coakley, said she gave Geralyn Graham a dog cage with the understanding that Rilya would be kept inside it, though she's not sure if it ever happened.] *HERE

***To save You, the reader a bit of time...the above 3 *HERE links are all from the same article listed above,
Fla. prosecutors build foster child case

Saving Our Children now has a Rilya Alert.
Named after a little girl lost and forgotten by the same system that was supposed to keep her safe, Rilya Alert is for some of those children who will never make Amber Alert, Nancy Grace, OR the headlines.


Rilya
Remember I Love You Always

2 comments:

Maggie's Rose said...

mammabear, this is such an excellent post! thanks so much for explaining the rilya alert, the beautiful child behind it and most of all its importance so eloquently!

Delilah said...

Mammabear, this is the best entry you have ever done. I am embarrassed to say that I had not taken the time and effort that you did to find out about the little girl behind the Rilya Alert.

I am so disgusted with what I have read and I promise that I am going to do more than skim this article.

Thank you for all of the hard work you did that is so evident in your entry. And most of all, thank you for bringing this case back into the spotlight and giving it the outrage it deserves.

We have a new mission.......