The 16-year-old brother of Terry Smith an 11-year-old autistic boy who has been missing since Saturday, was arrested today on murder charges.
Terry Smith was reported missing on Sunday after his mother discovered he was not in his bedroom when she went in to give his medication.
According to reports, the boys’ mother went out to play pool with some friends on Saturday evening about 7 pm, leaving Terry in the care of his 16-year-old brother. When she checked on them about 1 am she thought they were both in bed asleep.
Terry’s 16-year-old brother gave two different accounts of what transpired on Saturday. The initial report stated that he last saw Terry in their bedroom on Saturday. On Wednesday, he told police he last saw Terry when he attempted to follow him to a friend’s house. He told Terry to go home.
Since Terry’s disappearance Saturday, a massive search with over 700 volunteers have been combing the rural area near his home hoping to find him alive.
Officials used helicopters and bloodhounds, and volunteers searched on ATV, bicycle and foot scouring through thick brush with snakes and wild animals. On Monday and Tuesday temperatures reached three digits as hundreds continued the search.
At around 1 am Wednesday morning police received a call that human remains were discovered on the property where the boy lived. At that time police suspended their search for the young boy.
During a news conference on Wednesday, Capt. John Hill, stated that a body of a boy was discovered and that the description fits that of Terry Smith. According to Capt. Hill it was located in a “shallow grave containing partially exposed human remains.”
Volunteers initially continued the search still hopeful that Terry was alive. A Find Terry Smith page was setup on Facebook and has gathered more than 25,000 fans.
According to the Facebook page a prayer vigil was held at Menifee Marketplace at 7 pm tonight.
The administrator of the page left a message for followers.
“We want to thank everyone who is following our efforts here and for the thousands of volunteers and businesses that have helped this incredible search effort. Please remember that our focus has always been on Terry Smith, an 11 year old boy. Our focus is still on that boy and the memory. Negative comments here about the family, the search efforts or organization or anything else are not going to help Terry’s memory. This is a time for grieving for everyone. We still have a lot of work to do at the command center. Please respect our request so that we can keep this page open.”
Police have not released the name of the 16-year-old charged with murder.
By: Veverly Edwards