Jesse Wilson update: Buckeye police confirm remains found are missing boy

Posted at 11:12 AM, Mar 27, 2018
and last updated 2018-03-28 22:19:26-04

Remains found in early March in a Buckeye field are those of 10-year-old Jesse Wilson, who disappeared from his family home in July 2016.

Buckeye police said Tuesday that a forensic analysis of skeletal remains found March 8 by a city worker near State Route 85 and Broadway Road confirmed it was the body of Wilson.

FULL COVERAGE: Search for Jesse Wilson

"The Buckeye Police Department, along with our state and federal partners, will continue to pursue this investigation until its conclusion," Buckeye police said in a Facebook post. "We believe this case will be resolved as Jesse deserves nothing less."

Wilson disappeared July 18, 2016 from his family's Buckeye home. A massive community effort ensued, as neighbors spent endless hours searching for the boy.

Wilson's mother, Crystal, initially contacted the Buckeye Police Department's non-emergency line in the early morning hours of July 18, saying her son had slipped out of their home.

Similar incidents involving Jesse and his siblings were uncovered, including an incident in April 2016, when Buckeye police responded to the family's neighborhood after Jesse was found in a neighbor's yard.

ABC15 also discovered 2011 reports from Avondale police, who were called to Crystal Wilson's home over allegations that her five children were being abused and underfed. Responding officers checked the children for injuries and determined they were fed and there was no evidence of abuse. 

Neighbors who lived near the Wilsons in Avondale told ABC15 the children were often seen knocking on doors asking for food.

At a Tuesday afternoon news conference, police said they contacted Crystal after identifying Jesse's remains, and she is out of state at the moment.

When asked about suspects in the case, police said that they have not ruled anyone out, and that they're considering it a homicide investigation.

"While this is not the outcome for which any of us had hoped, we want to stress that this is not the end of our investigation," Buckeye police said.

Buckeye police say they're still taking tips on this case.

If you have any information you can call Buckeye PD at 623-349-6411 or

Jaime Medina never met Jesse Wilson. 

But that never stopped her from helping to find the missing Buckeye boy, who vanished in July 2016.

"You hope, you just hope," says Jaime, telling ABC15 she had prayed since he vanished that maybe he would be found alive. 

"I was devastated and I didn't even know this child." 

Just a few weeks after Jesse went missing, Jaime says she and her daughter would drive around Buckeye, searching for any clues. 

"The terrain here is so vast," she explains. "You feel so small out in the desert."

And Jaime didn't stop there. She also created the Facebook page, #FINDJesseWilson, hoping it led to a happy ending, but tragically, it would not. 

"The finding of Jesse is over, but now, the real fight for justice begins."

And that is the cause Jaime says she will devote the Facebook page to; she'll soon rename it, "#JusticeForJesse.

ABC15 also spoke to a couple who lives near where Jesse's body was found and helped search for the missing boy. 

"It was devastating," explains Kelly Babb. "I think the biggest question is why? Why?" 

David Kothe, a former Phoenix police officer who is not connected with the Wilson case, told ABC15 that finding his remains is a big deal for investigators working the case. 

"It takes the randomness out of it because of the proximity of where he disappeared and where he was found, it's all local," he said.

"People who do things in a heat of a moment situation that are trying to cover their tracks afterwards, they're going to do the most convenient and quickest disposing of the body that they can."

The Wilson case has consumed some in the Buckeye community for more than 18 months since he initially disappeared. 

"It's affected everybody, we all have kids, we all have families," said Luzendi Ruelas, who owns Ranchero's Restaurant in Buckeye. "To lose somebody within our community, it's heartbreaking."

See a timeline tracking the search for Jesse Wilson below.