Human Remains Found in Back Yard of Terry Smith Home

Investigators work behind forensic vehicles to remove what appear to be human remains from the b...

Investigators work behind forensic vehicles to remove what appear to be human remains from the back yard of a missing Menifee boy. 
Police have called a 4 p.m. press conference to discuss the results of an investigation that appears to have revealed human remains buried in the back yard of an 11-year-old boy missing since Saturday.

Police have not confirmed that the remains are human or that they are of Terry Dewayne Smith Jr. However, the boy's father told Menifee 24/7 today that a detective informed him that the remains are likely those of his son.

"They told me they had found a shallow grave with the remains of a young man in it," Smith said in a phone interview from his home in Charleston, West Virginia. "I asked it if was Terry and they said they believe so, but it's not written in stone yet. Then they asked me for any DNA or dental work for Terry.

"I have come to the realization that it's Terry."

Smith remains in West Virginia, saying he was advised by West Virginia State Police to stay at home at this time and care for his two minor children. This advice, he said, was given after West Virginia police examined previous court records related to his divorce and child custody battle with the boy's mother, Shawna (also known as Bekkah) Smith.

For reasons that have not yet been reported, police arrived at the Smith home at about 1:30 a.m. to search for evidence. By 7 a.m., news vans were on scene and the entire block of Helen Lane at Scott Road was roped off by police. Helicopters hovered overhead.

By 9 a.m., police and forensic teams entered the back yard of the residence -- manufactured housing on a large lot including goats and dogs. Police vans pulled up in front of a pepper tree in the back yard, blocking the media's view as they removed items to place in evidence bags. Around 10:45, police reported they had served a search warrant at the residence and were removing "possible human remains."

Police have not named any suspects in the case. Terry's mother lives at the home with her son, 16-year-old Skylor Atilano, 14-year-old daughter, Mary Atilano, and her live-in partner.

A hectic scene in front of the Menifee Market turned from one of volunteer command center to a gathering spot for residents praying and seeking news. A helicopter news camera showed what appeared to be a body bag being removed from a shallow grave under a pepper tree, loaded into a van and removed from the site.

Hundreds of volunteer searchers and police rescue teams had searched for more than three days for Terry, who originally was reported as missing Sunday morning and was reported by his mother as being autistic. Two of his former teachers and his father have disputed that. Others who know the family have said there was never any report of Terry having autism until family members reported him missing.






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  1. I knew they did something to that poor boy

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  2. I am deeply saddened, heartbroken and angry... May God watch over this young boy and cradle him. Community efforts that were made were amazing it is a beautiful thing when people come together I just wish that it was for better circumstances... Now lets come together and pray and celebrate this young boys life and rememberance.

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  3. HEARTBROKEN Have been gutwrenched from the beginning and just praying so very hard that the lil boy would be found alive my heart breaks for his family at this time,deepest condolences -until otherwise confirmed my heart is with this grieving family including his dad,other siblings-oh my just devastated for the whole community as well-deepest condolences-prayers!

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  4. Oh! Why is this not a surprise? From the very beginning this was just not believable - how a Mom of a special needs child behaves so neglectful and then acts so surprised, and on top of it goes into hiding and denies Law Enforcement access. Every detail seemed to scream dysfunction.
    Like another post observed, 24/7 has by far done the most exemplary job of credibly reporting this tragedy and deserves some sort of meritous journalistic award!
    Apparently there was another post revealing CPS had been contacted in the past, and failed to effectively advocate on behalf of this child and adequately protect his welfare.
    All of the time and money and effort that went into a seemingly futile attempt to find a small boy who was literally, but sadly, right in his own back yard the entire time! Someone knew it and kept it to themselves.
    We all have to pray for tolerance, patience, love and most of all forgiveness. Whatever challenges and struggles this little Angel suffered, he now is enveloped in eternal love, peace, serenity and kindness. Bless his Dad!

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    Replies
    1. Perfectly written…thank you.

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    2. He had ADHD,mothers do the best they can do. She is now dealing with a deceased child and a child who did very wrong. She is up against alot. The police did search the property with dogs and all & came up empty. The body was moved. We need to pray that we make the right decisions with our children.

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  5. This is a horribly sad story, however, if the remains are confirmed to be Terry I pray for closure and swift justice to those who did this.

    With that said, if it is found out that the mother was involved, I'm curious if lawsuits could be brought against her by the volunteers that assisted in the search and the companies that donated supplies/etc.

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    Replies
    1. I sincerely hope it's not true but if it is then I really hope she does get sued and I'm sure she will because there is too many people @involved in helping for her not to....I know I would

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  6. Im praying for everyone. Authorities, family...all involved.

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  7. so sad. Poor little boy terrble.

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  8. Bless his precious heart, poor child.

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  9. Really? The backyard? That is where they should have started looking in the first freaking place!

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  10. I suspected the brother from the beginning but now I'm wondering about mom...

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    Replies
    1. Im wondering about her too i think she had somthing to do with it

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    2. she is potentially covering up for her negligence and the boy responsible. Very sad.

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  11. Rest in peace Terry. You're in a better place now.............

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  12. So sad! Totally agreed that this whole thing didnt make sense from the beginning! The fact that neglectful mother lets a 16 yr old babysitt an "autistic" child...when in fact According to Terry's 2nd grade teacher he was a very bright child! I'm thinking Terry was labeled a special needs instead of a very bright child to deflect any foul play from the immediate family members!

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  13. How do we know he was there all along? And did you see where they had to get a search warrant? Did the mother not let them search inside or does anyone know?

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  14. Now I am wondering how long he had really been deceased. Was he really only missing since Saturday or had he been gone for some time like the Casey Anthony case. I also wonder why the mom refused the residence from being searched without a search warrant. Did she have some part in this, it sounds likely. Why was cps involved in the past if there weren't real issues with the parents?

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  15. It is very sad, but it is just as sad that there are so many who are so quick to cast a stone.

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  16. So very sad, 11 years old could not find a trusted soul while his life was taken by another relative, and so many neighbors near who cared far more than the his closest relatives would muster.
    Rest-in-Peace Terry Dewayne Smith Jr Condolences to schools neighbors and his father Mr Terry Smith

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  17. May the Lord bless each and every volunteer who spent countless hours looking for Terry. The last 3 days many of you hiked on foot in 100+ degree heat throughout the hillsides and fields of our town. Not too many people new of this place called Menifee until this tragic event. Volunteers in this town proved that Menifee is community. I am filled with great pride knowing that I live in a community with so many kind hearted people.

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  18. The story truly breaks my heart rest in Paradise Terry

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