I have no idea, but I found a picture that looked similar called root knot nematatodes. Maybe google search images and see if it looks similar. I am guess the plant looked dead.
I think that Shawn Ann is probably correct, it looks like root knot nematodes.
Shawn Ann, michelle, Rohrerbot,Thank you for your input, I think you are right about root knot nematodes. Fortunately the soil is isolated in a half barrel, I'll follow UC Davis pest notes on Nematodes to treat the soil and not use the container for a while.
Yup. Root knot nematodes. I get them too sometimes. So I rotate the Ground Control marigolds around the yard. Usually they go with my tomatoes so they don't affect them. I've been told crushed chitinous shells works too (like crab shells). But marigolds are easy and pretty and shells I'd have to import.
Daphne,Thanks for the tips, I'm solarizing the half barrel now, next spring I"ll plant marigold in there, hopefully that's the only place, every time I see wilting leaves my heart skips a beat.