Forensics investigators were combing Wednesday through the Menifee home of a missing 11-year-old
Detectives began searching a property in the 33000 block of Helen Lane in Menifee after 3 a.m. Wednesday for human remains, said Riverside County sheriff's Deputy Alberto Martinez.
The home was surrounded by yellow police tape and was being considered a crime scene until determined otherwise, he said.
KABC-TV reported that 11-year-old Terry Dewayne Smith lived in the home with his mother and 16-year-old brother.
The development marks a tragic turn in a search that was entering its fourth full day. Terry is autistic and high-functioning, his family told KTLA-TV. Authorities said they were concerned that the boy has gone days without his prescribed medication.
Terry went missing sometime between Saturday night and Sunday morning while his older brother was watching him and his mother enjoyed the night out.
Sometime between 7:30 and 9 p.m., Terry's older brother walked to a nearby market, Martinez said the brother told investigators. During the walk, the brother turned back and saw Terry following him and told him to go home.
That was the last time anyone saw Terry, Martinez said.
Terry's mother told investigators she believed she saw him in bed when she got home about 1 a.m. Sunday but noticed he was gone when she checked on him again at 10:30 a.m., Martinez said.
More than 1,000 residents from Menifee and surrounding communities have joined in the search, which has spanned some 81 square miles, officials said.
The search for Terry is on "standby" pending the outcome of Wednesday's investigation inside the home, Martinez said.
Terry has blond hair and blue eyes and was last seen wearing blue basketball shorts. He is 4-foot-8 and weighs 76 pounds.