‘Possible human remains’ found at missing Menifee boy’s home


Authorities have found “possible human remains” at the Menifee home of a missing 11-year-old boy, said Sgt. Lisa McConnell, spokeswoman for the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department.

Investigators, however, said they are still trying to determine if the remains are human, McConnell said.

The grim discovery came Wednesday as investigators served a search warrant to comb the house of Terry Dewayne Smith, the autistic boy who has been missing since Saturday night or Sunday morning.


Law enforcement teams on Wednesday temporarily ceased their search for the youth, Menifee Mayor Scott Mann said.

The search area around the home had expanded to 55 square miles by Sunday afternoon but became “rapidly smaller” as the days went by, Mann said.

Volunteers gathered in a prayer circle mid-morning Wednesday as rumors spread that the hunt for Terry had taken a dramatic turn and that investigators now were focused on searching for remains.

“We will find a way to remember him in our hearts,” said Jenny Smith, who was one of his fourth-grade teachers.

Dallal Harb, owner of the Menifee Market where the volunteer search has been coordinated, said she is close to the boy’s family and used to take him home from school.

“I just don’t want to believe it,” she said. “I see what’s going on. But I just don’t want to believe it.”


Bill Gillette, a Menifee volunteer who helped to coordinate the search, said volunteers were still out in the field.

“They’re still searching until we get official word,” he said.

Until the suspension, the search was entering its fourth full day Wednesday. 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 spent the night out.

Sometime between 7:30 p.m. and 9 p.m., Terry’s older brother walked to a nearby market, Riverside County Sheriff’s Deputy Alberto Martinez said the brother told investigators. During the walk, the brother said he turned back and saw Terry following him and told him to go home.

That was the last time anyone saw the youth, Martinez said.

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