MENIFEE – On Thursday, the Riverside County Coroner confirmed the remains found in a shallow grave at a Menifee home as being that of Terry Dewayne Smith.
Following the July 7 disappearance of Terry Smith, authorities and the community engaged in a massive search for the missing autistic boy. According to the boy’s older half-brother, who was watching him, the boy was last seen the previous evening following him to the store. The older sibling yelled at Smith to go back home and assumed he was in his room for the rest of the night. In the morning, Smith’s room was found empty. Officers from the Menifee Police Department along with a Riverside Sheriff’s helicopter, a blood hound and volunteers searched for three days, fearing the worst.
On Wednesday, July 10, officers received a report that possible human remains had been found by a citizen volunteer on the property of Smith’s home. The volunteer was later reported to be Pam Ragland, who considers herself a psychic and claimed to have a vision of Smith’s location. Arriving at the scene minutes later, officers discovered a shallow grave containing partially exposed human remains. At this time the Riverside Sheriff’s Homicide unit responded and assumed the investigation.
Family members were transported to the Riverside Sheriff’s station in Perris to be interviewed. As a result of the interviews Smith’s 16-year-old half-brother Skylor Atilano was arrested for homicide. At the time of the arrest, the body was identified as a male juvenile who fit the description of Terry Smith. The Coroner confirmed the body’s identity on August 1 as being that of Terry Smith. It has since been reported that Atilano had a history of violent outbursts. It is not known at this time if he will be tried as an adult for the murder.
Press Enterprise: MENIFEE: Coroner’s officials identify remains as Terry Smith Jr.
Murrieta Patch: Remains Confirmed as Terry Smith Jr.’s