South Florida Judge Denies Defense Motions in Rilya Wilson Case

Rilya's body has never been found.

Wednesday, Sep 12, 2012  |  Updated 1:49 PM EDT
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In Memoriam

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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.

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A South Florida judge has denied defense motions seeking to toss out a purported confession in the murder case stemming from the 2000 disappearance of 4-year-old Rilya Wilson.

Miami-Dade Circuit Judge Marisa Tinkler-Mendez on Wednesday rejected defense claims that the alleged confession should be thrown out because defendant Geralyn Graham did not have a lawyer present. The judge also said she will allow statements Graham made to a police detective.

Graham was the girl's caretaker when she disappeared. She faces a Nov. 5 trial date on murder and other charges.

She has pleaded not guilty but fellow inmate Robin Lunceford says Graham confessed to her. Lunceford will be a key prosecution witness.

Rilya's disappearance wasn't noticed by state child welfare officials for 15 months. Her body has never been found.

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