A Valley woman, who spoke out on Thursday, claims she is the biological grandmother of Jesse Wilson, the 10-year-old boy who disappeared from his Buckeye home more than two weeks ago.
Cynthia Lauderdale still has possession of a birth certificate of her grandson Jesse and his twin sister, born on March 16, 2006. Authorities confirm that is the same date of birth of missing Jesse Wilson, who also has a twin sister.
Lauderdale claims her grandson, his twin and an older male sibling were taken away from her daughter, their biological mom, because of drug and instability issues.
“I had several contacts with (DCS) and also with the courts. I was going to all of the court hearings with the children, trying to gain custody of them, during the whole process. It was a two-year process. What eventually happened is they said that I couldn't have custody of the children. The last thing the judge said in her chambers was that my credit was not good enough and that's why I couldn't have custody of the children,” said Lauderdale.
[Raw video: Grandmother of missing Buckeye boy speaks out]
Shortly after Jesse was reported missing by his mom Crystal Wilson, authorities confirmed he was, in fact, Wilson’s adoptive son. He was adopted along with his twin sister and their older brother.
Lauderdale believes the state should have never allowed Wilson to adopt the kids and that they should have stayed with family.
“What's going through my mind right now is that I'm pretty sure if he had of stayed with us this wouldn't have happened. This shouldn't have happened with him disappearing. Who knows where he is or what was going on in that household. If he supposedly ran away, there must have been something going on in that household for him to run away. Kids just don't do that. If they're getting the love that they're supposed to, kids don't do that. And my family loves them very much. And I feel if they had of placed them with me they would have gotten all the love because we're blood-related,” said Lauderdale.
The Valley realtor does not want to think about the worst scenario. Until there are more answers, she wants to believe Jesse is somewhere out there, maybe staying with someone. She said she would rather believe he was kidnapped than think something drastic happened to him.
Court documents in dependency cases are sealed and not accessible to the public, so it is impossible to verify the reasons the court did not give Lauderdale custody.
At the time Lauderdale did not have a criminal record, but she has since been convicted of a class 6 felony for attempting to hinder prosecution in 2013.
Sources have confirmed that state safety workers have removed Jesse’s twin sister and older brother from Wilson’s home.
Lauderdale did say if for some reason those kids are not returned to Wilson, she plans on launching another fight to gain custody of grandchildren, including Jesse if he is found.
“I do see hope. I believe in God and God told me a long time ago you're going to see your grandkids. You guys are going meet again. We never know when. It's all in his timing, so this is the time,” said Lauderdale.
Jesse was last seen by his mom the night of Sunday, July 17. Wilson called police early Monday morning to report him missing. Police and volunteers have been looking for the boy ever since.
In late July, Wilson made a tearful appeal for Jesse to come home.
"This is your mommy," she said. "No one is mad at you."
[RAW VIDEO: Crystal Wilson's tearful statement]
Jesse is described as black, 4 feet tall, 60 pounds and was last seen wearing a red shirt, shorts, black socks and black shoes.
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