menifee

Search volunteers attend a candlelight vigil for Terry Smith on July 10 in Menifee, hours after the boy's body was found. (Gina Ferazzi / Los Angeles Times / July 10, 2013)

A public memorial service for a slain 11-year-old Menifee boy has been scheduled for Thursday evening.

The service for Terry Smith, who was killed earlier this month, will begin at 6:30 p.m. at Lamb’s Fellowship Church, 21901 Railroad Canyon Road, in Lake Elsinore.

Terry's body was found on July 10 in a shallow grave on the family property after half a week of searching by several police agencies, the FBI and hundreds of Menifee residents.

Smith’s 16-year-old half brother was arrested and booked on suspicion of murder in the killing.

When word spread in the hours after Terry’s body was discovered, dozens of the searchers gathered in a circle, bowed their heads and prayed.

"We will find a way to remember him in our hearts," said Jenny Smith, one of Terry's teachers in fourth grade. Smith remembered him as a little hyper, suffering from attention issues, but otherwise not too different from her other students.

Michelle George, who lives near the Smith home, said her 8-year-old son rode the bus with Terry, who would walk to the bus stop alone in the mornings and walk back alone in the afternoon.

"When it was super cold he would sit in the car with us, and they'd sit and look at Digimon cards till the bus came," George recalled, her voice somber.

George said she didn't know that Terry had a half brother and only saw his mother once, when Shauna Smith walked her son to the bus stop on the first day of school.

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joseph.serna@latimes.com

@josephserna