WICHITA FALLS, Texas (TNN) - 365 days have gone by, but for Amber McDaniel the pain is still fresh. Everyday relives the nightmare of losing her baby boy Wilder McDaniel.
“The last thing I said to my baby was, he never had to fear anyone because I would always be here; and I told him I loved him,” Amber McDaniel said, “…The day he was born, my family called him ‘Prince Wilder’. Everyone knew he was special.”
His granddad, David Taylor, remembers the 2-year-old’s infectious personality and natural curiosity. “He loved being outside. He was an outdoorsman – couldn’t wear him down. He wanted to be doing something all day long,” he said.
His mom said he lived up to his name, “Between me and his father, we just knew he was going to be wilder than both of us.”
His mom and grandparents still find toys from his favorite cartoon lying around the house, sending them back to that fateful day on October 11, 2018 when the young life that brought so much light into the world vanished.
The criminal investigation that has followed has caught the attention of the entire Wichita Falls community.
While there’s questions still surrounding Wilder’s death, more and more people surround his family each day to show their support.
There’s no way to completely get rid of the darkness that’s come from losing someone so young, Friday evening people were able to bring about a little light.
By releasing lanterns at his grave site on the anniversary of his death, they hoped to honor a life that was gone far too soon
“Everywhere you look you see Wilder,” his grandfather said.
“He brought so much joy into this world, and this is what he deserves,” his mother said, “And I can’t thank everyone enough for everything that they’ve done.”
Wichita Falls Police said there are no new developments in Wilder’s case, but the investigation remains open.