MIAMI (CBSMiami/AP) — There was a major development Thursday in the case of a woman accused of killing missing South Florida foster child Rilya Wilson, who disappeared over a decade ago.

A South Florida judge denied defense motions seeking to toss out a purported confession in the murder case stemming from the 2000 disappearance of 4-year-old Rilya Wilson.

Miami-Dade Circuit Judge Marisa Tinkler-Mendez on Wednesday rejected defense claims that the alleged confession should be thrown out because defendant Geralyn Graham did not have a lawyer present. The judge also said she will allow statements Graham made to a police detective.

Graham was the girl’s caretaker when Rilya disappeared.

Her trial is scheduled to start November 5th.

She’s facing first-degree murder, kidnapping and child abuse charges.

She has pleaded not guilty but prosecutors are relying heavily on testimony from jail inmates including Robin Lunceford who claim Graham confessed to them that she smothered the child and disposed of the body near a lake.

Lunceford will be a key prosecution witness.

Rilya’s disappearance wasn’t noticed by state child welfare officials for 15 months. Her body has never been found.

Florida’s child welfare agency was overhauled after Rilya’s disappearance but is still accused of lax oversight.

Graham faces life in prison if convicted in the little girl’s slaying.

(TM and © Copyright 2012 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2012 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)



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