Skylar Wilson’s adoptive parents used “exorcisms,” and dietary restrictions, they claim

Surry County, NC (WGHP) — New details are emerging in the death of 4-year-old Skyler Wilson.

Per the orders, Joseph Wilson, who is accused along with his wife Jodi in the death of their adoptive child Skyler Wilson, received a text from his wife stating there was a “problem” with “swaddling” Skyler on January 5. He sent a photo of Skyler, wrapped in a sheet or blanket face down on the floor of the Wilsons’ living room with duct tape pinning him to the floor.

Skyler Wilson passed away on January 9th.


According to the memo, on January 11, a detective interviewed a former adoptive parent of Skyler and Vance Wilson, also known as Skyler and Vance Bowles. According to the memo, the former foster parent advised that Jodi Wilson told her about “the sack, swaddling, food restriction, Vance Wilson’s refusal to walk alone, gate Skylar into a room for excessive ‘alone’ time, and exorcisms of both children.”

The note does not provide additional details of the alleged “exorcism”.

The foster mother spoke to a care worker with the Surrey County Department of Social Services on Dec. 7, concerned for the children’s safety. She was asked to file an official report, which she told investigators she did that same day. The memo states that phone records confirm the timing of her complaint.

Skyler and Vance Wilson were placed with Wilson in September of 2021 and Wilson had “babied” three children prior to the two boys.

The note states that Judy was using techniques she learned from Nancy Thomas, who describes herself as “the parent of professional therapy.”

When reached for comment on Skylar Wilson’s death, Nancy Thomas provided the following response:

“I am shocked and saddened to hear the sad news that this little boy has passed away. As I had no knowledge of the incident, I cannot make any comment. I am willing to assist law enforcement if they have any questions.”

On January 6, while Skylar Wilson was in the hospital, the Surrey County Sheriff’s Office was contacted by the Department of Social Services.

A detective in the sheriff’s office speaks with the doctor, who explains that Skyler has anoxic brain injury, which occurs with a restriction that prevents oxygen from reaching the brain. The doctor, who had previously spoken with Joseph Wilson, told the investigator that Skylar’s brain injuries were consistent with the “excessive restraint” used during the so-called “swaddling” technique.

Swaddling is a technique used to comfort babies and help them sleep with a blanket wrapped tightly around the baby’s body. Turning over while swaddled has been associated with an increased likelihood of SIDS mortality, and swaddling is not encouraged for an infant who is old enough to roll over on their own.

The sheriff’s office executed a search warrant at the home on Rosecrest Drive in Mount Airy. While in the house, they notice “wrist and ankle support strap/braces” and cameras in the basement of the house, Joseph Wilson tells an SBI agent and the detectives that the straps were to restrain Skyler while swaddled, and that Jodi removed Wilson’s cameras and possibly removed SD cards from them during the “incident” with Skyler on January 5th.

The Wilson home on Rosecrest Drive was searched a second time, specifically looking for SD cards in the cameras. They list the following items:

  • Three white surveillance cameras
  • Mueller Sport wraps
  • Handwritten documents
  • USB drives
  • books
  • Wii SD card
  • Notebooks and binder
  • Cameras that contain SD cards
  • 3 discs of playroom
  • Dell Optiplex 7020 Tower with Power Cord
  • Hitachi laptop
Judy and Joseph Wilson (Surrey County Sheriff’s Office)

On January 13, Joseph and Jodi Wilson were charged with the murder of Skylar Wilson and taken into custody without any bond. Their three biological children and one adopted child, Vance, were taken into custody by social services, where they remain.

Skylar’s former adoptive mother described him as a social butterfly with a big heart.

“He was so young and tiny, but his heart was three times bigger than he is,” she said. “I want to love unconditionally and remember his smile and the little things.”

Nancy Thomas, Attachment Therapy and Constipation Therapy

According to the Nancy Thomas website, “Nancy Thomas is not a doctor, psychiatrist, or therapist. She is an amazing mother who, through years of research, study, and experience, has found solutions to raising challenging children.”

Nancy Thomas advocates “attachment therapy,” which Psychology Today describes as “unconventional, unproven, and potentially harmful,” as a treatment for “reactive attachment disorder.”

According to the Mayo Clinic, reactive attachment disorder is “a rare but serious condition in which an infant or young child does not form healthy bonds with parents or caregivers. Reactive attachment disorder may develop if a child’s basic needs for comfort, affection, and nurturing are not met and loving relationships are not established.” Caring and stable with others.” This rare disorder primarily affects infants and young children, who present with symptoms such as lethargy, lack of comfort seeking or unexplained withdrawal.

“For children with rad disorder,” says Nancy Thomas on her website, “everyone becomes an enemy. They learn to manipulate, use, and abuse people to get what they want. A real child may [have] Nobody saw it except the mother figure who unleashed their deepest rage (sic).”

Psychology today distinguishes between “attachment-based therapy” and “attachment therapy”.

Attachment-based therapy is described in Psychology Today as “considering the relationship between an infant’s early attachment experiences with their primary caregivers, usually with parents, and the infant’s ability to develop normally and eventually form healthy emotional and physical relationships as an adult”.

PsychologyToday also notes: “Attachment-based therapy as described here should not be confused with unconventional, unproven, and potentially harmful therapies referred to as “attachment therapy” that involves physical manipulation, restriction, deprivation, camp-like activities, or physical discomfort from any So-called ‘attachment therapies’ were developed in the 1970s as interventions for behaviorally challenged children, particularly those with autism. They have since been investigated and dismissed by mainstream psychology and medicine.”

The “attachment therapy” that Nancy Thomas promotes includes “protective therapy” in which one or more people sometimes forcibly restrain the child.

The Daily Beast wrote that the treatments promoted by so-called attachment therapy “centered around assuring the parents absolute control over their children, through strict regulations on the children’s movements and eating habits. Sometimes, the children were put on very limited diets of bland and unappetizing foods; Allocate hours of useless, repetitive work; forced to sit in one place facing a wall for hours at a time; and endure “suspension therapy,” in which parents or therapists can force children to first induce anger and vulnerability, and then vent and accept when they finally yield. “.

Nancy Thomas’ “cures” were highlighted in the 1990 HBO documentary “Anger’s Child” after her experiences with her adopted daughter Beth Thomas, who claims to have RAD. Thomas’ parenting advice was also at the center of the case of an Arkansas state representative in 2015 who adopted and then abandoned sisters with serious behavioral problems, and at one point accused the girls of being possessed.

In 2000, Candace Newmaker, a 10-year-old girl from North Carolina, died in the care of related “therapists” in Colorado, and the two unlicensed therapists were convicted of her murder.

Newmaker died after being “wrapped in a blanket in order to represent the womb, and the little girl sat by four adults until she could no longer breathe”, during a process called “rebirth” according to a Guardian article at the time. This inspired the “Candice Law,” which bans “rebirth” therapy in Colorado and North Carolina.

The Wilsons will return to court on February 2. Skylar Wilson’s funeral will be held on Saturday, January 28th.