PALM DESERT, Calif. - A four-day search for Terry Smith Jr. ended last Wednesday when a body matching the description of the 11-year-old was recovered by authorities in the back yard of the home where he lived in Menifee.
The search involved hundreds of volunteers who had been combing over more than 50 square miles looking for the boy. In the end, it was Orange County psychic Pam Ragland who pinpointed the location of the body. She recruited an off-duty firefighter to take her to the location the evening of July 9. As soon as they made the discovery, the firefighter dialed 911.
Firefighter: "Can you hear me?" Dispatcher: "I can hear you now." Firefighter: "OK, we believe we may have found a human head. We're out searching for a little boy, Terry Smith." Dispatcher: "OK." Firefighter: "The lady I am with smelled something that and when we looked for it, that's how we found it." Dispatcher: "OK, the sergeant doesn't want you to disturb anything in the area." Firefighter: "No we're not." Dispatcher: "or search any further, they're on their way."
Sixteen-year-old Syklor Atilano, a half-brother of Terry Smith Jr. faces a murder charge in the death of the boy. He was in juvenile court on Monday for a detention hearing, which was rescheduled for Sept. 17.
Funeral services for Terry Smith Jr. are scheduled for this Saturday at 4 p.m. at the Revival Christian Fellowship Church in Menifee.