Family Seeking Justice After Authorities Say Woman Recorded Ex-Coach Admitting to Inappropriate Relationship

Playing Woman Records Former High School Coach Admitting They Had Relationship

In 1996, Emilie Morris was a high school honor student and star athlete at Lindbergh High School in suburban St. Louis.

"She was fast. She was beautiful. She was intelligent. Whatever sport she tried, she excelled at, effortlessly," said her mother, Joan.

Emilie went out for cross country and track at the urging of coach Jim Wilder, her mom said.

But years later, Emilie shared with her mother, and with police, a secret she said had been keeping. That secret, she said, was an inappropriate relationship that Wilder initiated. He made sexual comments and ridiculed her appearance, she said.

So at age 32, Emilie wore a wire provided by police and went to meet her former coach in a parking lot.

"We did something that wasn't right, according to our laws these days. But you know I'm not a creeper," Wilder was heard saying on the tape. 

"I was just so frustrated, so horny," he is heard saying.

After the encounter, Emilie went to her mother's house and wept for hours.

"She came back and cried and cried and cried. She was worried about ruining his life," her mom said.

Police eventually arrested Wilder on four counts of statutory sodomy, according to BuzzFeed. But before the case could go to trial, Emilie was found dead at age 35, with her head in a trash can. It is believed that a plastic bag inside the container suffocated her.

Investigators labeled the death "suspicious," but no suspects were named.

Wilder's case also died. With no witness, the charges against him were dropped. Emilie's family hoped the recent accusations against gymnastics coach Larry Nassar would renew interest in their daughter's case.

"It bothers me a great deal. Her chance is over, and Jim Wilder is a free man."

The case remains closed. Inside Edition's attempts to reach Wilder by phone for comment were unsuccessful. 

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