Joseph and Jodi Wilson, both from Mount Airy, North Carolina, were arrested after their 4-year-old son died of a brain injury linked to alleged abuse by them.
“This is a tragic event that resulted in the death of a precious child far too soon,” Sheriff Steve C. Hiatt said in a news release.
“Please keep the other brothers and sisters involved in this situation as well as the investigators who worked tirelessly on this case in your thoughts and prayers,” he added.
The arrests came amid an inquest into the January 9 death of their adopted son, 4-year-old Skyler Wilson, who authorities say died of injuries related to abuse. by his parents.
According to the Mount Airy News, the couple have two biological children and are adoptive parents to two other children. The children in their care were turned over to the Department of Social Services, the sheriff’s office said.
Skyler was pronounced dead at Brenner Children’s Hospital after suffering a medical emergency on Jan. 5, authorities said. His death was caused by hypoxic brain injury due to “too much restriction”, during a “swaddling” technique. His death constitutes in this respect a homicide, according to the warrants examined by Fox 8.
Earlier today, Joseph Wilson reportedly received a text from Jodi Wilson in which she said she was having trouble swaddling Skyler, the documents say. She also allegedly sent a photo of the boy, “wrapped in a sheet or blanket, face down on the floor of the Wilsons’ living room, with duct tape securing him to the floor.”
When Joseph called 911 to report Skyler was having a seizure, a detective allegedly heard a woman say in the background of the call, “It’s my fault,” according to warrants also obtained by WFMY.
A former foster family of Skyler and her brother told investigators that about a month before Skyler’s death, they filed a report with the Department of Social Services after becoming concerned about the welfare of the children, reports WFMY, citing the warrants.
She said Jodi Wilson talked to her about cutting back on the boys’ food, isolating them and performing “exorcisms” on them, according to WFMY.
After the couple were arrested, a search of their home reportedly found wrist and ankle straps, as well as cameras that apparently recorded the earlier abuse, according to multiple reports.
Joseph and Jodi Wilson’s next court date has been set for February 2.