Prosecutor: Miami woman smothered foster child

Published On: Nov 26 2012 12:19:35 PM EST
Rilya Wilson
TALLAHASEE, Fla. -

A South Florida prosecutor says a woman smothered foster child Rilya Wilson a decade ago after months of abuse and elaborately covered up her disappearance until confessing to fellow jail inmates.

Prosecutor Joshua Weintraub urged jurors in an opening statement Monday to convict 66-year-old Geralyn Graham of first-degree murder, kidnapping and child abuse. Graham has pleaded innocent and faces a potential life sentence if convicted. Trial will last several weeks.

Rilya's body has never been found. The two jail inmates who claim Graham confessed are key to the state's case.

The discovery of Rilya's disappearance in 2002 led to a shakeup at the state child protection agency because caseworkers were unaware the girl hadn't been seen in months. The case also led to greater privatization of programs for foster children.