With the release of additional search warrants, the events and timeline surrounding the death of 4-year-old Skyler Wilson at the hands of his foster parents in Mount Airy are calling into question the involvement of social services officials, while digital evidence is painting a picture that shows additional involvement from both Jodi and Joseph Wilson in the events that led to Skyler's death.
Surry County EMS responded Jan. 5 to a call of a child having a seizure and they found Skyler "unresponsive and not breathing on his own" and transported him to the hospital. Skyler lay four days at Brenner Children's in Winston-Salem before he passed away.
During the investigation a court order was issued to the Surry County Department of Social Services requesting they pull the records for Skyler and his sibling who was also under the care of the Wilsons at the time of the incident.
Investigators sought unredacted records involving both Wilson foster boys and any/all documents on file for the Wilsons. "Any and all unredacted documents of reported abuse and/or neglect made to Surry County DSS involving Jodi or Joseph Wilson… including recordings, videos, voice memos, or notes involving" the alleged abuse.
In a bone chilling turn of events, court documents obtained Monday by The Mount Airy News show that Skyler's former foster mother, who has requested her name not be published, had sounded the alarm to Surry County DSS before Skyler's death.
Just days after his death, Surry County Sheriff's Office detectives interviewed the former foster mother of both the boys who were in the care of the Wilsons at the time of the incident.
She told detectives, "That Jodi Wilson had discussed with her ‘pouching,' swaddling, food restriction, refusal of (the younger foster boy) to walk by himself, the gating of Skyler in a room for excessive alone time, and the exorcisms of both children."
She went on to express serious concerns for her former foster sons under the Wilson's care and said she voiced those concerns to a Surry County DSS case worker on Dec. 7.
She was told to report the incident to a DSS intake worker, which she did the same day, and the search warrant states she "was able to provide telephone records that corresponded with her statement."
It is unclear if she made those comments to her own foster children's case worker, or the case worker for the Wilson children. There is no indication from court records of any social services home visit, investigation, or action taken as a result of her concerns.
Skyler and his brother were placed with the Wilson family in August 2021 and court records show the couple has had three other foster children. Officials with the Surry County Clerk of Court's Office said they were unable to disclose whether other warrants had been served on the Wilsons or that Rosecrest Drive address.
A search warrant for the Wilson's place of business, Affordable Wellness 693 W. Pine St., Mount Airy, was a targeted search for electronics. Detectives spoke with a witness who stated that Joseph, "Would look at his cellular phone to view video footage from inside his residence from cameras installed inside the residence while at work."
The witness had first-hand knowledge of him conducting searches on office computers for alternative parenting techniques, recording Zoom sessions with Nancy Thomas, using scheduling software to plan "pouchings," and conducting searches on exorcisms.
Based on statements from the witness and the Wilsons, seized from Affordable Wellness were laptops, hard drives, a computer tower, and Skyler's medical records.
Warrants show that Cellebrite data extraction was used on both Wilson's cell phones that turned up incriminating [messages] between the two, "Messages from Jodi to Joseph where they discussed swaddling and restraining Skyler. On the day of the incident, Jodi messaged Joseph to "see video… about to tie him up and swaddle him again."
A deep dive into their phones found multiple videos that had been saved on the phones that had the "watermark" of Wyze branded cameras like those investigators seized. Documents said, "Several of the videos contained video footage of child abuse prior to the date of murder."
One of the cameras seized was in the living room of the home which, "based on interviews with Joseph and photos observed on the telephone of Jodi, the felonious child abuse that occurred on the day occurred in the living room floor in view of the Wyze camera."
It is on these cameras that investigators feel there will be evidence of the crime.
It was reported that Jodi Wilson reached out to her husband sometime in the 5 o'clock hour on the evening of Jan. 5 to report something had [gone] wrong with Skyler's swaddling. However, in recently obtained documents, it appears Jodi Wilson had been in touch with her husband prior to the incident.
Joseph Wilson told investigators that while at work he got a photo from his wife that depicted Skyler on the floor of the family home being swaddled. "Joseph further described Skyler was swaddled by a sheet wrapped around him and he was laying down on the living room floor. Joseph observed that Skyler had duct tape on the blanket and attached to the floor to hold Skyler to the floor."
EMS said Skyler was unresponsive and not breathing on his own when they arrived on scene. The search warrants present a timeline that suggests from the time of the incident to the call to 911 may have been more than two and a half hours.
After Skyler went to the hospital Jan. 5, a child abuse investigation was launched. An initial search warrant issued authorized authorities to collect evidence of abuse from electronics, cell phones, and documents, literature, or media "related to pouching, swaddling, and/or Nancy Thomas parenting;" as well as any materials used in the execution of those techniques like straps, towels, and blankets.
The warrant also directed the search to look for videos, photos, USB drives, or any medium that "can contain footage relating to restraining, pouching, and/or swaddling a child."
Removed during the first search of the home were a laptop, books, medical records for Skyler, sheets with tape residue, multiple cameras, a red cloth with duct tape, duct tape wrappings, rolls of duct tape, and cloths with undetermined "reddish stains."
Detectives saw restraints during their initial search but were unaware at the time they had any relevant value to the case and did not seize them. Joseph Wilson later informed those straps were used to hold down Skyler for swaddling.
Jodi and Joseph Wilson are being held without bond and await their next court appearance on Feb. 2 where they are each facing a single count of murder for the death of 4-year-old Skyler. https://www.mtairynews.com/...hild-death