Rilya Wilson's Case Steps Forward

Judge wants trial to start this fall.

By Willard Shepard
|  Wednesday, Aug 4, 2010  |  Updated 9:53 PM EDT
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Rilya Wilson Hearing

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405099 01: An undated photo of 5-year-old Rilya Wilson from a missing poster May 8, 2002 in Miami, FL. Wilson has been missing since January 2001 when someone claiming to work for the Florida Department of Children and Families (DFC) took her from her grandmother's home. The DFC reported her missing on April 25, 2002 and has no record of anyone taking her. (Photo courtesy of Miami-Dade Police Department/Getty Images)

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Rilya Wilson Hearing

Justice may soon be on the horizon for a little girl and those who cared about her.
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"It will give you time to respond and for you to get them to me quickly," Judge Thorton said.

Wednesday Thornton told the prosecutor and defense attorneys enough is enough.

"The most important lesson we can learn is that DCF has come a long way in rectifying the problems of the past," Jose "Pepe" Diaz, Miami Dade Commissioner, said.

Recently the CIU has been given exclusive access to DCF programs designed to track foster kids. Photos, GPS systems, and more complete background checks, give DCF confidence it knows where foster kids are and how they are doing.

During today's hearing, defense attorneys revealed one prosecution witness who says Graham told her she confessed to smothering Wilson and dumping her body in a canal is also now saying she has similar information, obtained inside the jail.

"There is no evidence. All it is is people who are claiming she did this and it's all people who have a very strong motive to lie to get out of criminal difficulty themselves," Scott Sakin, Graham's Attorney, said.

Graham's live in partner has cooperated with authorities and the state attorney didn't want to talk today but has previously stated that Rilya’s disappearance was the result on an act of violence and the grand jury has indicted the child's former caretaker.

Defense lawyers say the state has no body, no forensic evidence, and witnesses who aren't credible. The judge wants the trial to start in the fall.

The time has come for Geralyn Graham to come to trial.

Graham facing the death penalty for allegedly killing Rilya Wilson-- the four year old foster child in Graham's care. Ten years ago all of South Florida searched for Wilson, who was in the custody of the Department of Children and Family when she disappeared. Back then, outrage of the fact that DCF lost track of her. The case worker lied about visits to see Rilya.

Today community leaders reflect on the lessons learned.

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