BUCKEYE, Ariz. – The police opened a murder investigation Tuesday after the skeletal remains recently found in an irrigation ditch were identified as that of a 10-year-old boy disappears from his suburban Phoenix home nearly two years ago.
During a press conference, Buckeye Detective Tamela Skaggs would not say if the police have evidence of a crime in the death of Jesse Wilson, or if there are suspects.
She said that the researchers do not know how long Wilson’s remains were in the area in the vicinity of a freeway, or how they wound up.
That area was searched in the summer of 2016, but was covered by water at the time, according to Skaggs.
“There it is again that we should consider and landscape, animal activity,” she said. “All those things come into play with that specific wilderness area.”
Buckeye police chief Larry Hall said that the discovery of Wilson’s remains was the “worst result we could possibly imagine.”
“I wish I could say that it is the closure, but it is not because we have not yet found the person responsible,” he said.
FBI agent Lance Leising said the agency is helping Buckeye police investigators with additional interviewers, evidence-experts and strategy advice.
The boy disappears from his home in the early morning of July 18, 2016, in a Chestnut area, located approximately 35 miles (56 kilometers) to the west of Phoenix.
The police treated it as a runaway case because the boy is the adoptive mother told the researchers that he suffered from ‘learning and development problems” and was taking medication for. She said that he slipped from his bedroom on the second floor window overnight in the past.
The FBI, Buckeye Police and Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office personnel searched for the boy for weeks after his disappearance. Drones, US Border Patrol, the tracking of the dogs and the citizens are also looking for volunteers.
The police said partial human skeletal remains were found March 8, about six miles from the boy’s home and a subsequent search of the area brought to light additional remains.
The remains were submitted for forensic analysis and positively identified as Jesse Wilson, police said.