Trial resumed Tuesday in the case of Geralyn Graham, who is accused of murdering foster child Rilya Wilson, whose body has never been found. Deborah Muskelly, the Department of Children and Families case worker assigned to Wilson, spoke about how she learned that the 4-year-old child was missing. Defense attorney Scott Sakin pressed her on different points in court, with Muskelly acknowledging that she did check on the girl's well-being in person.
Trial resumed Tuesday in the case of a South Florida woman accused of murdering a foster child whose body has never been found.
The second week of testimony began in the trial of 66-year-old Geralyn Graham, who faces a life prison sentence if convicted. Graham has insisted she did not kill foster child Rilya Wilson, who went missing more than a decade ago.
Deborah Muskelly, the Department of Children and Families case worker assigned to Wilson, was on the stand all day Tuesday. She was previously prosecuted for official misconduct after DCF said she falsified documents for 18 months, indicating that she had been checking up on the child when she had not.
DCF said Muskelly had only been taking Graham's word for the child's whereabouts, and admitted in court that she did not have any documented contact with Wilson after January 2001.
Muskelly said Tuesday that because she had more than a hundred cases to monitor, she called Graham on the phone instead of visiting in person to check on Wilson's well-being.
Muskelly described the moment she was informed that the child was missing.
"He asked me where she was, I said she was with Ms. Graham," Muskelly said. "He said, 'OK,' he was gonna get it checked out. He called back and said she wasn't there."
Muskelly also recounted when Wilson was moved to the Graham house from another family without her knowledge and was kept there despite her efforts to return Wilson.
"A little shocked, a little upset, because the child was fine with the Kendricks, I didn't understand why she was moved,” she said.
It has been argued that if she had done her job properly, Wilson's disappearance would've been noticed immediately.
Graham Sometimes Put Rilya in Dog Cage: Witness
Witnesses so far have said they saw possible signs of abuse on the girl but none have testified they saw Graham harm the child. One witness said she was told Rilya was sometimes kept in a large dog cage, but never saw the girl inside it.
Later in the trial two jailhouse snitches are expected to testify that Graham confessed to killing Wilson.