WICHITA FALLS (KFDX/KJTL) — Cruises in honor of lost loves ones have become very popular in Wichita Falls recently. To celebrate the life of two-year-old Wilder McDaniel and bring attention to his case, many people cruised the streets in his honor.
“I’m just angry and upset and I feel like the city’s failed me and my son,” Wilder’s father Robert Bubba McDaniel said.
It’s been almost 2 years since two-year-old Jason Wilder McDaniel was found dead on the floor next to his crib. Since the beginning of the investigation into his death, the McDaniel family has been pushing for answers. At this cruise, they continue that quest.
“I feel like they failed him. They failed him miserably and there’s no excuse for it,” McDaniel said. “There’s no rhyme or reason for it and they expect us to just be able to sit here and be ok with it and it’s never gonna be ok until the person that’s responsible for this is taken in and justice is served.”
Wilder’s body was found in the home of James Staley on October 11, 2018.
In June, Wichita Falls police named Staley and Wilder’s mother Amber, who was also in the home, as persons of interest. But according to McDaniel, police told him there’s only one way to get justice for Wilder.
“The way that they’ve explained it to me, justice won’t be served without basically a confession now. They probably don’t want me to say that but that’s exactly what I was told. So in the words, they failed their job. They failed,” McDaniel said.
As Wilder’s investigation continues, loved ones said they will keep fighting for justice for Wilder.
And this cruise serves to honor the 2-year-old.
“Upset, sad that nothing’s happening. Poor Wilder. He’s a precious baby no matter what anybody thinks or what their thoughts are on whoever. He was a precious, innocent child that lost his life and the person that did it is known and needs to pay for it,” one of the cruise’s organizers Kirstie Peel said.
“That’s love from the town right there that I always feel. I do feel town love and everything like that and I love the people of this town. I’m just angry at the moment,” McDaniel said.
A precious baby that loved ones say they will always remember as they continue pushing for justice.