Federal Charges Filed Over Body Found in Lake at Fort Riley
|U.S. Attorney’s Office December 08, 2010|
TOPEKA, KS—Federal charges have been filed in connection with the discovery of a body submerged in a car in Moon Lake on Fort Riley, U.S. Attorney Barry Grissom said today.
In a criminal complaint filed in U.S. District Court in Topeka, Christopher Anthony Wilaby, 26, Pensacola, Florida, was charged with five counts alleging he committed crimes on a federal military installation including:
- Concealing the body of Echo May Wiles in a car and sinking the car in Moon Lake on Fort Riley.
- Failing to report the theft of Wiles’ car to authorities.
- Stealing Wiles’ 1997 Chevrolet Monte Carlo.
- Obtaining control of Wiles’ dead body.
- Entering a military installation for an unlawful purpose.
According to an agent’s affidavit, Wiles’ body was found in April 2010 in a submerged car in Moon Lake on Fort Riley. A construction worker saw the car’s antenna after the lake was partially drained for a construction project. The decomposed body was found in the back seat.
Earlier this month, investigators obtained evidence alleging that in August 2005 Wilaby strangled Wiles at a trailer court in Junction City, Kan. Wilaby and Wiles were involved in an ongoing relationship and had been arguing before he choked her to unconsciousness. He loaded her body into her car and drove the car onto Fort Riley, where he sunk car containing the body in Moon Lake.
Upon conviction, the alleged crimes carry the following penalties:
- Concealing the body on a military post: A maximum penalty of five years and a fine up to $250,000.
- Failing to report the car theft: A maximum penalty of three years and a fine up to $250,000.
Obtaining control of Wiles’ dead body: A maximum penalty of five years and a fine up to $250,000.
- Entering a military installation for an unlawful purpose: A maximum penalty of five years and a fine up to $250,000.
The U.S. Army Criminal Investigative Division at Fort Riley and the FBI investigated. The Geary County Attorney’s Office and the Junction City Police Department are assisting in the investigation. The U.S. Attorney’s office is prosecuting the federal charges.
The defendant is in custody in Pensacola, Florida.
In all cases, defendants are presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty. The indictments merely contain allegations of criminal conduct.