Pam Ragland had a feeling that something wasn’t right, then she had a vision.
She saw a boy lying on his side with his eyes closed. He was in the dirt near a tree, with an unpaved road nearby. A building was to the right and a city was in the distance.
Ragland said that this and other visions Tuesday ultimately led to the discovery of a child’s body that authorities say matched the description of Terry Smith Jr., an 11-year-old who had been missing for several days.
Authorities have not confirmed that Ragland was the tipster who led them to the body, but she said she showed up at the volunteer command center on Tuesday with her children and ultimately found the shallow grave.
Ragland said she and her children, who have trained themselves to rely on “sixth sense” or “intuition” abilities, drove to Menifee from their home in Rancho Santa Margarita on Tuesday night after seeing news of the search on television.
Volunteers told her they planned to look for the boy around Menifee, but she felt he might be closer to home, she said.
An off-duty fireman drove her around the property Tuesday night, she said. She didn’t know exactly where she was going, but kept looking for landmarks that matched her vision.
She recognized a building, but kept searching. Then she arrived at a tree.
“I smelled something, and it smelled like something dead,” she said.
Her children found a lump, and they called out to her: “Mommy, here’s a dead animal.”
But when she looked at the lump, she realized: “That is not an animal. That’s a head.”
As Ragland described it, a blackened, bloated head was sticking up about 6 or 8 inches. Half of the nose and an eye were missing.
She immediately alerted authorities.
Ragland, 50, does not call herself a “psychic.” She said she is a “healer,” who believes that people can hone their intuition. On her website, Ragland said she has pioneered “Quantum Thought Shifting,” an "entirely new form of energy technology on this planet.”
Ragland said she has not always embraced her abilities. She said she once dreamed that President Reagan was going to be shot. The next day, he was. Worried she might have accidentally caused the assassination, she said she tried to turn her abilities off.
Over the years, she has learned to accept it.
“I believe that we all have abilities and we learn not to use them. I think that’s what happened -- I learned to use mine again,” she said.