ARIZONA NEWS

Adoptive mother arrested in case of Buckeye boy who went missing in 2016

Dec 13, 2022, 11:11 AM | Updated: 12:33 pm

PHOENIX — More than six years after 10-year-old Jesse Wilson went missing from his Buckeye home, police announced Tuesday that his adoptive mother has been arrested in the case.

Crystal Wilson, 54, was indicted by a grand jury last week on one count of abandoning or concealing a body, Buckeye Police Chief Larry Hall said during a press conference.

She was arrested Monday at her home in Gainesville, Georgia, where she’d been living for several years, and will be extradited to Maricopa County for prosecution, Hall said.

Hall said there were a lot of leads in the high-profile case, “but all of our leads led back to Crystal being responsible.”

However, the chief said there wasn’t enough evidence to charge her with homicide.

“We worked the case through the county attorney’s office, and this was the best, most-fitting charge at this time,” he said.

Hall said Crystal Wilson has given conflicting statements and “there was never an admission on exactly what happened.”

“She knows what happened,” he said. “She’s not telling us. The onus is on her.”

Jesse went missing in July 2016. Crystal Wilson told police at the time that he ran away from home after she put him to bed.

His remains were found in March 2018 on the side of the road near Broadway Road and State Route 85, about 6 miles from his home.

The Maricopa County Medical Examiner’s Office declared his cause of death as “undetermined.” Hall said he thinks neglect may have been a factor.

“This case was personal to a lot of people: the people who gave their time and energy to search for Jesse, the people who were very brave to pick up the phone and provide tips and, most importantly, to those who love Jesse,” Hall said.

Jesse’s biological grandmother Cynthia Lauderdale spoke during Tuesday’s press conference.

“We never gave up hope that justice was going to be served,” she said. “We’re just happy that it’s finally come to the end to where the person is going to be … held accountable for the things that she did.”

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Pass it along to the KTAR News team here.

Arizona News

Ted Kleca was last seen on Sunday at around 3 a.m., officials said. (Chandler Police Department pho...

Serena O'Sullivan

Silver Alert issued for missing Chandler man with cognitive condition

The Arizona Department of Public Safety issued a Silver Alert on Sunday for a 76-year-old Chandler man with a cognitive condition.

35 minutes ago

File photo of a Valley Metro Tempe Streetcar. Officials are encouraging people to use mass transit ...

KTAR.com

1 woman killed, another injured in crash involving a light rail train in Phoenix

One woman was killed and another was injured in a crash involving a light rail car in Phoenix on Saturday night.

3 hours ago

Phoenix Fire...

David Veenstra

Phoenix police identify teen boy killed in fiery crash

Phoenix police identified the teen boy who died after a fiery automobile crash in south Phoenix on Saturday afternoon.

4 hours ago

sign of tonto national forest displayed at entrance of recreation site...

Tom Kuebel

National Forest Foundation and SRP agree to 5-year forest restoration agreement

The National Forest Foundation and SRP agreed to a five-year partnership to reduce wildfire risk and protect watershed basins in the Tonto National Forest.

5 hours ago

The auction will feature more than 1,300 professionally appraised lots. (Sierra Auction Photos)...

David Veenstra

Arizona Department of Revenue to auction off unclaimed property

The Arizona Department of Revenue is auctioning off unclaimed property from abandoned safe deposit boxes this week.

9 hours ago

Shopping center developer Macerich withdrew its proposal with the city of Phoenix's planning hearin...

KTAR.com

Macerich pumps brakes on proposal for new Biltmore office tower

Prominent shopping center owner and developer Macerich Co. is delaying its plans for a new Class A office building.

10 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

...

Collins Comfort Masters

Here’s 1 way to ensure your family is drinking safe water

Water is maybe one of the most important resources in our lives, and especially if you have kids, you want them to have access to safe water.

...

Collins Comfort Masters

Avoid a potential emergency and get your home’s heating and furnace safety checked

With the weather getting colder throughout the Valley, the best time to make sure your heating is all up to date is now. 

...

Canvas Annuity

Interest rates may have peaked. Should you buy a CD, high-yield savings account, or a fixed annuity?

Interest rates are the highest they’ve been in decades, and it looks like the Fed has paused hikes. This may be the best time to lock in rates for long-term, low-risk financial products like fixed annuities.

Adoptive mother arrested in case of Buckeye boy who went missing in 2016