A body found decomposing in a Greeley, Colorado, irrigation ditch Wednesday was positively identified as that of missing 12-year-old Kayleah Wilson. At a press conference Thursday, Greeley Police Chief Jerry Garner noted that the missing girl had been identified through dental records. He said that Kayleah Wilson’s “death does not appear to be accidental and as a result, a homicide investigation has begun.”
Police refused to disclose if a cause of death had been determined.
With little to go on, police had a difficult time investigating the Kayleah Wilson missing person case. The homicide investigation may prove as frustrating. “We can’t guarantee you that there is not someone, if given the opportunity to do this crime again, who wouldn’t do it,” Chief Garner said. “We still have a wide range of people of interest that we’ll be following up on.”
Chief Garner also said that since the announcement of her death, more tips had started to come in.
The body of Kayleah Wilson was found by a worker inspecting water levels in the irrigation ditches about a mile from Kayleah’s home. The area had been searched twice before and had even been scoured by dogs. The state of the body when it was recovered led authorities to the conclusion that it had been in the ditch for some time.
Garner said that the family of Kayleah Wilson, members of which were noticeably absent from the press conference, had been ruled out as suspects in the case. He also noted that the family expressed that they did not to wish to speak to the media.
Kayleah Wilson went missing on March 28 after she left her home 3:40 p.m. to go to a party. She was supposed to stop at a friend’s house along the way but never made it. The party was about eight blocks form Kayleah’s home; the friends’s house was just a couple.
But authorities, who were later joined by the FBI, could find no evidence of foul play at first. In fact, they could find very little evidence at all. They have not disclosed if anything was found near the recovery scene that might help in the investigation.
Kayleah’s mother, April Wilson, maintained all along that her daughter was not the kind to run away. And asked why her daughter walked to the party, she noted that most people in the heavily populated area walked wherever they went and that the family didn’t even own a car.
It was noted on HLN’s “Nancy Grace” shortly after the 12-year-old went missing that 133 sexual predators lived in the area.
“We’ve got a lot of work to do now,” Chief Garner told the Denver Post. He said that there were a wide range of suspects to be interviewed and several investigative avenues to pursue. “We’ll be talking to lots of people,” he added.