Terry Dewayne Smith Jr., an 11-year-old autistic boy who disappeared over the weekend, is still considered missing even though authorities are investigating human remains in his neighborhood. Smith went missing from Menifee, California, on Saturday night.
Smith was determined to be missing on Sunday morning when his mother noticed around 10:30 a.m. that he was not home. He was last seen on Saturday night by his 16-year-old stepbrother.
Smith is 76 pounds and 4’8” tall and was last seen wearing blue basketball shorts. Authorities have asked local children to avoid wearing blue to avoid any confusion when trying to identify Smith.
On Saturday night, the young boy had followed his stepbrother out when the older boy ordered him to return home. Smith, who is a highly functioning autistic person, did not have any medication with him, would likely be easily agitated if approached.
Approximately 1,000 volunteers have been scouring the area since Sunday looking for the boy. They have pledged to continue looking for him regardless of the new developments on Wednesday.
On Wednesday at approximately 1 a.m., authorities were called to a home in Menifee, to investigate possible human remains. The home is being treated as a crime scene as detectives determine whether there was a crime and there is a body at the home.
According to reports, the Sheriff’s Department has suspended their search for Terry Dewayne Smith Jr.
However, volunteers are not planning to give up; they will continue to search the surrounding area for the little boy.
“‘Until we have absolute confirmation from the sheriff directly, we will continue to do our job, which is to search,’ said a posting on a Facebook page where the volunteer search was organized.” (dailymail.co)
Officials are concerned about Smith; the youth could have wandered away from home without his medication – dangerous, especially without water or food where the Los Angeles area has recently been experiencing temperatures topping 100 degrees.
According to Smith’s mother, the highly functioning boy may be overly sensitive without his medication and may be walking on his tiptoes. Additionally, he will respond more positively to his nickname “Juju” instead of his given name. If he is called by his full name, he may flee believing he is in trouble.
Neither Smith’s mother nor his 16-year-old stepbrother have spoken publicly about the disappearance; and the police have not stated why the stepbrother did not notice why his brother was missing any earlier.
Smith’s father has been ruled out as a suspect in his disappearance, as he lives out of state.
If you have any information, contact the Riverside Sheriff’s Department.
By Dawn Cranfield
US News Special Correspondent