Hair subject of testimony in Charlotte County child murder trial

PUNTA GORDA, Fla. A chunk of hair was at the center of testimony Thursday in a cold case toddler murder trial.

Dark-colored hair that appeared to have been cut was in the area of the bathroom at a Punta Gorda apartment, according to testimony from Debbie Bowe, a retired Charlotte County Sheriff’s Office major crimes detective.

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The apartment is where Keith Wilson is accused of having killed 3-year-old Pilar Rodriguez in 1999.

The hair is consistent with a biological child of Pamela and Marco Rodriguez, Pilar’s parents, a Florida Department of Law Enforcement DNA expert testified.

Pilar was an only child. But the expert could not confirm the hair was Pilar’s, since a body was never recovered.

Wilson’s ex-girlfriend Melissa Harding-Jones told the jury Wednesday that Wilson stuffed Pilar’s body in a garbage bag, put her in the trunk of his car and disposed of her body at an unknown location.

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Wilson was arrested in 2013 in Kentucky after new evidence implicated him in the death of Pilar, whose body was never found.

The defense plans to call Wilson to the stand as their only witness.

The trial, initially expected to run two weeks, is now on track to wrap up Tuesday.

Reporter:Kristi Gross
Writer:Katherine Viloria