The Knoxville FBI placed Michael Steven Wilson on its Most Wanted List today for allegedly kidnapping his daughter on August 7, when he failed to return her after weekend visitation. He was last seen with his child in Cleveland, Tennessee.
NBC’s WCRB reports that Wilson, 35, a non-custodial parent of 2-year-old Skyla L. Wilson, had weekend visitation with his daughter from August 4-7 in Bradley County, Tennessee. Afterwards, he was supposed to return Skyla to her custodial grandmother, Clara Lynn Hanecek, but when he failed to show up, the grandmother alerted the police.
Skyla Wilson’s mother, Stephanie Lashay Wilson, is afraid that Michael Wilson is physically dangerous and that her daughter is unsafe. The mother indicated that he had made threats before, mainly involving a nasty custody dispute they were having over Skyla. He was getting ready to lose all visitation rights when the kidnapping occurred.
Hanecek, Michael Wilson’s mother, said that her son hasn’t treated her nicely since she won custody of Skyla over a year ago. On the day he picked his daughter up, he actually spoke to Hanecek, while he typically gave her the cold shoulder when picking up Skyla for visitation.
“He was exceptionally happy and she gave me hugs and kisses, and told me bye.”
Skyla was put in foster care around a year and a half ago, and Hanecek was the only person that petitioned to adopt her. While Skyla lives with her grandmother, she visits her mother or father on the weekends. Hanecek added that she never bothered Skyla’s mother or father on the weekends, but if either one fails to bring her back on Sunday, she gets worried.
“Sunday if they’re not here at seven, I do text them and ask them where they’re at.”
On August 7, Hanecek texted her son when he failed to bring Skyla back at 7:00 p.m. He never texted back.
“I text him, ‘where are you?’ I never got a text back. So, I called. His phone went straight to voicemail and it scared me. I immediately thought he ran with her. That was my first thoughts. I came home and I called the police. We want her home. She knows this is home. She knows on Sunday she comes home to this house, to her bedroom, to her toys in there and to her Nana.”
Police think that Michael Wilson may be headed to Mexico with his daughter. On August 10, a witness spotted his last known vehicle, a 2014 Black Kia Soul with Tennessee tag V26-31U, headed towards Texas, at close to 6:00 p.m. on Thursday.
A federal warrant was issued for Michael Wilson by the United States District Court, Eastern District of Tennessee. A state warrant for his arrest was issued by Bradley County, state of Tennessee.
Dana Stanesick, Skyla’s aunt, made an emotional plea earlier this week, asking for the safe return of her niece.
“On behalf of the family, and myself, we just beg anybody for any information. Please come forward and get Skyla home safely, back to where she belongs.”
Anyone with any information on Michael Steven Wilson is urged to call a local FBI office, or the nearest American Embassy or Consulate.
[Image via Knoxville FBI]