Jury selection began Monday in the trial of a woman accused of murdering a foster child she was caring for more than ten years ago.
Geralyn Graham has maintained her innocence from the beginning, insisting she had nothing to do with the disappearance of 4-year-old Rilya Wilson, whose body was never found.
On Monday, the 66-year-old Graham began the process of taking on her accusers.
More than 100 potential jurors answered questions in an attempt to seat a jury, a process that likely will take up to two weeks.
Rilya Wilson’s name was an acronym for "remember I love you always." Born to a homeless cocaine addict she was taken from her parents and placed in a state run foster home when she was just 2 months old. Then, before her fifth birthday, she disappeared and was presumed dead.
"Someone other than the counselor assigned to this case came to that home, removed the child, apparently stating that there was a need for neurological, psychological and other evaluations of the child,” said Charles Auslander, DCF District Administrator.
That someone, said the state, is Gerlyn Graham, the caretaker who is now charged with first-degree murder, aggravated child abuse, and kidnapping. Prosecutors allege she locked Rilya in a cage after taking her from her official guardian.
“We're going to find out that there's a lot of distance between the pillar, the charge and post at the end of this case,” said attorney Scott Sakin.
Police have no witnesses to the killing and very little hard evidence to go on.
The state will rely heavily on alleged confessions Graham made to other jail inmates stating that she killed Rilya and buried her near a lake.