Jurors to deliberate in Fla. missing child case

Geralyn Graham, 67, the caretaker of foster child Rilya Wilson who is on trial for her murder, listens during closing arguments in Dade Criminal Court, Tuesday, Jan. 22, 2013 in Miami. Assistant State Attorney Joshua Weintraub said in closing arguments that the law permits the jury to find 67-year-old Geralyn Graham guilty of first-degree murder even though Rilya's body was never found. Graham, who insists she is innocent, faces life in prison if convicted.

Published: Thursday, January 24, 2013 at 9:08 a.m.
Last Modified: Thursday, January 24, 2013 at 9:08 a.m.

MIAMI — Twelve jurors are going behind closed doors to deliberate the fate of Geralyn Graham, accused of killing 4-year-old foster child Rilya Wilson more than a decade ago.

Circuit Judge Marisa Tinkler Mendez decided after closing arguments to begin deliberations on Thursday morning. The trial in Miami has lasted two months and involved dozens of witnesses.

Prosecutors say the 67-year-old Graham smothered Rilya in late 2000 and disposed of her body, which has never been found. The defense case focused on the possibility that Rilya might be alive and might have been sold to someone else. Graham insists she is innocent.

Rilya's disappearance wasn't discovered for 15 months, leading to resignations at the Department of Children and Families and passage of reform laws.

If convicted, Graham faces life in prison.

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