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North Carolina couple accused of performing 'exorcism' on child, 4, who died

Joseph Paul “Joe” Wilson, 41, and Jodi Ann Wilson, 38, were arrested Jan. 13 on accusations they murdered their son, Skyler Wilson.

A North Carolina couple are accused of performing an amateur exorcism on their 4-year-old son, who later died.

Joseph Paul “Joe” Wilson, 41, and Jodi Ann Wilson, 38, of Mount Airy, were arrested Jan. 13 on accusations their actions led to the death of their son, Skyler Wilson. They are being held at the Surry County Detention Center under no bond.

The Surry County Sheriff’s Office said deputies received a call Jan. 6 from Child Protective Services about a child who had been admitted to the hospital after having suffered a "medical emergency" the previous day. Skyler died Jan. 9 "from injuries related to the abuse sustained by his parents," authorities said.

A cause of death was not revealed. The department said it is being investigated as a homicide.

"This is a tragic event that resulted in the death of a precious child way too soon," Sheriff Steve C. Hiatt said in a statement.

The sheriff's office did not immediately respond to a request for comment Thursday.

The Wilsons are reportedly the adoptive parents of Skyler, according to WFMY-TV of Greensboro. They are alleged to have restrained and isolated the child and performed an exorcism, the station reported.

Jodi Wilson is alleged to have texted her husband hours before Skyler was taken to the hospital and said something happened to Skyler while she was swaddling him, the station reported, citing search warrants. NBC News has not viewed the warrants.

Jodi Wilson is accused of sending a picture to Joseph Wilson of Skyler wrapped in a sheet facedown on the floor with duct tape holding the blanket to the floor, according to WFMY.

The Wilsons will appear in court Feb. 2. They had other children in their custody who are now in the care of the Department of Social Services, the sheriff's office said. It's not clear whether the couple have obtained an attorney.