Missing Florida Girl's Caretakers Failed Lie Tests, Police Say

The most recent caretakers for 5-year-old Rilya Wilson, who was missing for more than a year before anyone noticed, provided "deceptive answers" in polygraph tests, police said Friday.

Meanwhile, DNA tests ruled out a match between Rilya and a slain girl known as Precious Doe, Kansas City, Mo., police said Friday.

Geralyn Graham and her sister, Pamela Graham, both gave deceptive responses in a polygraph test administered earlier in the investigation, Miami-Dade County police spokesman Ed Munn said. Police would not disclose the questions, citing the ongoing criminal investigation.

"We can't take anybody at their word," said police director Carlos Alvarez.

Asked whether any charges were forthcoming, Alvarez said: "Everybody involved in this case is being investigated. Nobody is immune."

In Kansas City, police Capt. Cy Ritter said results from tests performed on saliva from Rilya's mother, Gloria Wilson, showed that a match with an unidentified girl found murdered there last year was "scientifically impossible."

DNA from the mother arrived in Kansas City on Monday, and tests were complete late Thursday, Ritter said.

Authorities had said Rilya had many similarities to Precious Doe, including their approximate ages, height, weight and body frame. Last week, police compared a palm print of Precious Doe to one provided by Rilya's caretakers. The prints didn't match, but police had said they would look to DNA tests to definitively rule out a match.

The mystery surrounding Precious Doe has transfixed Kansas City during the year since her body was found in a wooded area in the southern part of the city. The little girl had been beheaded.

Florida's Department of Children & Families lost track of Rilya in January 2001. Geralyn Graham, who claims to be her grandmother, and Pamela Graham say Rilya was removed from their home by a woman who said she was a DCF worker and was never returned. DCF skipped required monthly visits and reported her missing April 25.

The state had taken custody of Rilya when she was 5 weeks old because her mother was homeless and addicted to cocaine.

Nine months after Rilya's reported disappearance, Pamela Graham wrote a letter in a landlord-tenant dispute in which she said she was Geralyn Graham's guardian. She wrote that her sister "now suffers from dementia."

Pamela Graham wrote that the dementia was caused by a May 1996 car accident and "the numerous surgeries afterward, including one on her spine to try to allow her proper air and blood flow to her brain."

Ed Shohat, the Grahams' attorney, said Thursday that Geralyn Graham "is perfectly capable of normal activities."

He said she still has "mostly physical problems today" from the accident. Shohat said he has not been able to talk with her current doctor to get an updated assessment of any dementia.

Shohat said Pamela Graham is her sister's guardian for purposes of a Social Security disability application. He said the sisters would be unavailable for comment "for the next couple of days."

Pamela Graham wrote the letter in a lawsuit filed by their landlord seeking unpaid rent.

A psychologist concluded in another lawsuit that Geralyn Graham had suffered dementia, hallucinations and memory problems following the accident. Graham had sued Alamo Rent-A-Car in August 1996 for $2.5 million for injuries suffered when her sister ran over her with a rented van.

In an Aug. 12, 1997, video deposition in the Alamo lawsuit, Geralyn Graham said she does not remember her old jobs, being arrested in Tennessee for food stamp fraud or being married.

Court records in the Alamo case show that Geralyn Graham had at least 14 aliases, six driver's licenses and five Social Security numbers.

Rilya moved in with Graham after being removed from the home of Pamela Kendrick in April 2000. State officials had investigated allegations of abuse there in 1998 involving other children, but the inquiry was dropped, according to records.

Rilya was an infant in 1996 when the state placed her in the care of Kendrick, whom the child's mother had met while dating Kendrick's nephew.

"I was with her for the first three years of her life," Kendrick said Thursday. "I made it possible that she could have a normal life, because I cared for her as my own."