Police: Adoptive mother arrested in death of 10-year-old years after disappearance

Authorities say 54-year-old Crystal Wilson was arrested in Georgia this week in connection with the death of 10-year-old Jesse Wilson. (Source: KPHO)
Published: Dec. 13, 2022 at 5:49 PM EST
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BUCKEYE, Ariz. (KPHO/Gray News) - Police in Arizona say they have made an arrest in a 2016 case involving the death of a child.

According to the Buckeye Police Department, 54-year-old Crystal Wilson was arrested in Georgia in connection with the death of her adopted 10-year-old son Jesse Wilson.

During a press conference on Tuesday, Buckeye Police Chief Larry Hall said that last week, a grand jury indicted Crystal Wilson on one count of abandoning or concealing a body before Monday’s arrest.

KPHO reports the 10-year-old was initially reported missing from his home in a Sundance neighborhood in July 2016. Authorities were joined by hundreds of volunteers from the community, including staff from the school he attended.

Police said they spent hours searching for the boy but found no trace of him. The FBI also helped in the search and authorities didn’t rule out foul play in his disappearance.

In March 2018, a Buckeye municipal employee found what appeared to be partial human skeletal remains on the side of the road near State Route 85 and Broadway Road.

A few days later, authorities said those remains were positively identified as Jesse. His cause of death was classified as undetermined.

Authorities said Crystal Wilson had moved a few weeks before Jesse’s remains were discovered. When police contacted her about the identification, she had already relocated to Georgia.

In November 2020, Chief Hall said a new investigator was assigned to the case to explore new angles and continue the investigation.

Authorities didn’t immediately release what new evidence may have been gathered but they submitted a case to the Maricopa County Attorney’s Office for review of criminal charges.

Crystal Wilson was indicted by a Maricopa County grand jury on Dec. 9.

Chief Halls said Crystal Wilson is expected to be extradited to Arizona for prosecution.