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Trial for Cape Coral double murder suspect starts Monday

Timeline of the murders and person of interest, Wade Wilson
Posted at 6:11 PM, May 31, 2024

CAPE CORAL, Fla. — Nearly five years after the murders of two Cape Coral women, the man accused of killing them is going to trial on June 3.

Wade Wilson is charged with killing 35-year-old Kristine Melton and 43-year-old Diane Ruiz.

The investigation started on October 7, 2019. Melton was found dead in her Cape Coral home. That same day, a woman was reported missing.

Ruiz was walking to her job at the Moose Lodge - about a half mile from her home.

"I want my mother to come home," her son told Fox 4 in 2019.

On Oct. 10, Ruiz was found dead in a field behind Sam's Club on Pine Island Road.

Cape Coral Police said her death was related to Melton's case.

Both women were found strangled and one had other injuries, reports said.

The same day Ruiz was found, police identified a person of interest but would not say their name.

So how does Wilson come into the picture?

Two days prior, he went to jail for an unrelated battery charge, but he was on police's radar for quite some time.

For months, police investigated the murders until a grand jury indicted him on November 19, 2019 for the murders.

"Very early on our detectives identified Wade Wilson as a person of interest," said then-Cape Coral Police Chief David Newlan.

Since the announcement, Wilson has been in the Lee County Jail. In October 2020, law enforcement officials say Wilson and cellmate Joseph Katz were caught trying to escape jail by trying to break out of a window.

At one point, he admitted to the murders to an ex-girlfriend, she said. But then he told a Fox 4 reporter another story.

"No, I did not commit these murders and I'm innocent," he told a reporter in 2019.

Wilson even sent letters to Fox 4 reporters and anchors -
claiming he did not have anything to do with the killings.

There are several reasons why it took so long to go to trial. Wilson has gone through several lawyers, the pandemic and a lot of court hearings.

On June 3, he will officially start his trial. If he's convicted of murder, he could be sentenced to death. The trial is expected to last three weeks and Fox 4 will bring you the latest every step of the way.