Those who knew Jesse Wilson react to recent arrest of his adoptive mother
BUCKEYE, AZ (3TV/CBS 5) - The tragic story of the death of Jesse Wilson is one step closer to closure. “He was just a gentle kid,” said Maria Tomczak as she recalled memories of Jesse.
Jesse was ten years old when he went missing in Buckeye nearly seven years ago. Now his adoptive mother, Crystal Wilson, is behind bars and charged in connection with the case.
For those who knew Jesse, this news is a sigh of relief. “It took a long time. I think it took longer than it should have, but I guess they have to make sure all the i’s are dotted and the t’s are crossed to make sure the charges stick,” said Wilson.
In July 2016, Crystal Wilson reported to police that Jesse had run away from their home. This sparked a massive search effort that lasted several months. On March 8, 2018, remains were found a few miles off Route 85. They were eventually identified as Jesse’s. In November 2020, the case was reassigned to a new investigator. After they took a closer look, detectives were able to build a case against the adoptive mother. Wilson was arrested in Gainesville, Georgia, and extradited to the Valley.
“I wish I would have said something,” said Tomczak. Her son attended the same day camp at Jesse. She felt something was off as Jesse constantly asked her for food whenever his adoptive mother wasn’t around. “I didn’t think anything of it at first, and so I said, ‘oh sure’ and opened up my son’s lunchbox and gave him some snacks and stuff. He said thank you. He was very polite and very soft-spoken.”
While she’s grateful someone was finally arrested all these years later, to this day, she wonders, “what if...” “I feel a lot of regret that I didn’t say anything to somebody that could possibly look into it,” said Tomczak.
Wilson has not been charged with killing her adoptive son. Instead, she’s being held on a charge of abandonment or concealment of a dead body.
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