PUNTA GORDA, Fla. A jury was selected Monday in the trail of a man accused of raping and brutally beating a 4-year-old girl.
Pilar Rodriguez was last seen at a Punta Gorda motel in 1999, where her babysitter Melissa Harding-Jones brought her so she could meet with her then-boyfriend, Keith Wilson, investigators said.
The 4-year-old has never been found.
Four men, two women and three alternatives were chosen to decide Wilson’s fate.
The case was cold for years until new evidence led Charlotte County deputies to Wilson in 2013.
Harding-Jones was also arrested and accused of having been an accessory after the fact.
She told investigators she watched Wilson rape and beat Pilar. She said Wilson also stuffed her body into a duffel bag and then dumped it.
Harding-Jones appeared in court Monday for a status hearing as she awaits sentencing for her involvement pending her testimony in Wilson’s trial.
Pilar’s aunt and grandmother were among the attendees in court Monday.
The trial is expected to last two weeks.