SURRY COUNTY, N.C. (TCD) -- A husband and wife were arrested on suspicion of murder after their 4-year-old adopted son died from a brain injury allegedly caused by an exorcism.
According to Surry County Sheriff Steve Hiatt, on Jan. 5, paramedics transported Skyler Wilson to Brenner’s Children Hospital after the boy suffered a medical emergency. The next day, officials from Child Protective Services contacted the Surry County Sheriff’s Office about Skyler’s injuries.
He reportedly died Jan. 9 from wounds "related to the abuse sustained by his parents."
The Sheriff said detectives are investigating his death as a homicide.
Deputies arrested 41-year-old Joseph "Joe" Wilson and his wife, 38-year-old Jodi Wilson, in connection with Skyler’s death.
According to court records cited by WGHP-TV, Skyler suffered from a hypoxic brain injury, which reportedly occurs when there isn’t enough oxygen going to the brain. A doctor told investigators Skyler’s case of the hypoxic brain injury happened due to "too much restriction" from a "swaddling" method Jodi allegedly used on the little boy.
On the day he went to the hospital, Jodi allegedly texted her husband a photo of Skyler face-down on the ground, wrapped in a blanket, and stuck to the ground with duct tape. She reportedly said in another text there was a "problem" with swaddling him that day. Jodi reportedly took the swaddling method from a woman named Nancy Thomas, who promotes the technique for children who need attachment therapy.
The same day, Joseph and Jodi reportedly put Skyler to bed but then moved him to the couch, WGHP reports. He was reportedly "rigid and semi-responsive," then became unconscious. Joseph called 911 to report Skyler was having a seizure.
Jodi was reportedly heard in the background saying, "It’s my fault."
Detectives reportedly searched the Wilsons’ house Jan. 6 and saw "wrist and ankle support strap/braces."
The court documents reportedly say Jodi contacted one of Skyler’s previous foster parents and talked to her about the swaddling methods, as well as restricting food and not allowing Skyler’s brother to walk by himself. Jodi also allegedly told the other foster mom about "gating of Skyler in a room for excessive 'alone' time, and the exorcisms of both children."
The foster mom reportedly filed a report with social services on Dec. 7 because she was concerned about Skyler and his brother.
WGHP reports detectives took several items from the Wilsons' home, including multiple surveillance cameras, USB drives, laptops, and more.
Joseph and Jodi Wilson are reportedly being held without bond.