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Remains Confirmed as Terry Smith Jr.'s

First reported missing July 7, 11-year-old Terry "JuJu" Smith Jr. of Menifee was a victim of homicide, authorities confirmed Thursday.

Terry Smith Jr. (Photo courtesy of Riverside County Sheriff's Department)
Terry Smith Jr. (Photo courtesy of Riverside County Sheriff's Department)
The human remains discovered July 10 behind the home of a missing Menifee boy have been confirmed as his, authorities said Thursday.

Eleven-year-old Terry "JuJu" Smith Jr. was a victim of homicide, according to a Riverside County Sheriff-Coroner's Office report.

Just after midnight July 10, a male juvenile's remains—now confirmed as his—had been found partially exposed from a shallow grave near a tree in the backyard of the home in the 3300 block of Helen Lane in Menifee where Terry lived with his mother, her partner, his half sister and half brother.

Terry was first reported missing the morning of July 7 by his mother.

The discovery of the remains brought a dramatic halt to a nearly four-day law enforcement search for the boy that was complemented by the efforts of several hundred citizen volunteers.

Terry's 16-year-old half brother, Skylor Atilano, was charged with murder shortly after the remains were discovered. He is being held at Southwest Juvenile Hall near Murrieta, awaiting a September court appearance.

The positive identification of Terry's remains was delayed because they were those of a juvenile, sheriff-coroner's Sgt. Brent Sechrest previously told Patch. Identifying records such as fingerprints are not available on minors, unless there is a criminal record, he explained.

The coroner's office had to await dental records from Terry's father, Terry Smith Sr., a West Virginia resident who purportedly had legal custody of the boy. The father previously told Patch he had also sent his DNA to help identify the boy.

Smith Sr. arrived in Southern California last week, and held a public memorial service to thank the volunteers who tirelessly searched for his son.

However, a spokesperson for the Riverside County Sheriff's Department told The Press-Enterprise that is was a DNA swab collected from the boy's mother that was used to positively identify the remains.

Sgt. Lisa McConnell told the newspaper that the state Department of Justice expedited the testing due to the nature of the case.
justme August 01, 2013 at 02:43 PM
So sad and totally just wrong. I still don't understand how the mom can be free. Too many inconsistencies and requiring the search warrant for them to search for her beloved little boy?? Not to mention she said to not look around trees because he would never climb a tree yet he was buries next to one? Their yard is not that big, she was clearly hiding it.
MALIBUSHYLAH August 01, 2013 at 04:08 PM
@justme: "I don't understand how the mom can be free." What? That's a stupid statement. Do you have FACTS of the case? Did you read reports that specifically stated that the mom said "do not search my property??" If so, please share. Otherwise, you made very ignorant comments. People are spewing nasty hate in this community against her over this and I'm over it. NO one has looked into this Terry Sr dad who has been accused in court of molesting and physically abusing most of his 10 kids. Yes, he has 10 kids. NO one has mentioned the fact that he sure is showing a lot of grieving by going in style around town, getting new clothes, shoes, hats, eye glasses, hair cuts. And he goes to his public memorial to tell people to "stop bashing him and his "Angels" that are helping him". And I am sure you have no clue what that is about either. The people that are behind the scenes of helping Terry Sr have proven to be a fraud. This girl comes out to say that she is a Reporter for KTLA 5 and then tells everyone she's "his attorney". When pressed and investigated on both, both have come up false. However, it got the attention of Dr Phil. Thats right, this grieving father is going on national tv to discuss this case when he hasn't so bothered to make a phone call to his now dead son. I know way more than most of you on this case. I have had it to my eyeballs with the stupidity in this town. I suggest you keep it shut and wait for the facts of the case to come out.
kristin c August 01, 2013 at 05:14 PM
I don't get why they would need dental records and DNA after he was deceased for only 3 days
justme August 01, 2013 at 05:44 PM
@malibushylah "I suggest you keep it shut and wait for the facts of the case to come out" seriously? The police said she required a search warrant, thank you. That was the night the search was called off or were you at the bbq with mom during that time?? Or were you out partying with her when she 'left' her 'autistic' son with her other psycho son?? I have had it up to my eyeballs with the stupidity coming from the very few who defend her. Ohh but that doesn't coincide with your belief therefore stricken, right? Sorry I forgot.... In ANY realm, if your son is missing, you do anything and everything to find him. You don't refuse media interviews. You don't require police to get a search warrant. And you sure as hell have some kind of emotion about it. Me personally, hysterics along with excessive vomiting would ensue. People like the 'mother' she is make it extremely difficult for those who REALLY have lost their children and need help finding them. People like the 'mother' she is use the public with their trust and empathy when in the end, after all is out in the open the public then trusts just a little bit less. Before we know it, with all the trash that has come out, there will be no more public trust and God forbid our children do end up missing we will be on our own no thanks to 'parents' like them. And so sorry, you cannot blame the dad at all. He was in a completely different state for one and secondly, by someone saying you cannot blame him is not calling him father of the year, it is simply stating FACT. So find another bandwagon or excuse to bail mom out, because it isn't working...
justme August 01, 2013 at 05:52 PM
@kristin c - I agree and why the DNA sample from the dad? Why not mom?? I remember the half-sister's instagram post when they found his remains, I just hope it wasn't true regarding the condition of his body. That would explain the dental records...I do understand why the DNA, they need something scientific/definite to go to trial with. Just the dental part threw me off as well :(
Rosita Whittaker August 01, 2013 at 07:22 PM
@MALIBUSHYLAH.......you're soo right!!! This community is making an absolute fool of itself by making a hero out of an abuser and bullying a suffering mom. Most of you are clueless with your repetitive nasty comments and insults. How many of you have checked out the father's role in this incident??? Try thinking for yourselves instead of playing "follow the leader." Even if the mom is guilty, It's None Of Your Business!!! You wouldn't have the guts to slander a man or you would have confronted the father!!! Enough is enough!!!!
Rosita Whittaker August 01, 2013 at 07:26 PM
How do you know the dad was in a different state???? Just cause he said so???? Mom's a bad mom, just because he said so???? Ironically, her neighbors said that she's a good mom, but what do they know????? Do a bit more investigating before making such hateful comments!!!!!
justme August 01, 2013 at 07:46 PM
O.M.G Rosita, is that what the cheerleading squad for mom has been reduced to?? The dad wasn't out of state? She didn't call him Sunday morning at his house in that other state to tell him what was going on? Let's play by your rules: How do you know she is a good mom? Just because the neighbors said so??? Since the dad couldn't be out of state just because he said so.... Uh oh, I forgot the #1 rule of our game, that only applies to YOU right??? Oopsie... That is just as bad as the 'If the glove doesn't fit, you must acquit' scenario... bravo.
Rosita Whittaker August 01, 2013 at 08:01 PM
And the Primary Evidence to this incident is "Dad say's so!" LOL
Carl Petersen III August 01, 2013 at 10:41 PM
justme August 01, 2013 at 05:52 PM "I agree and why the DNA sample from the dad? Why not mom??" ____________________________________________________ From the article: "However, a spokesperson for the Riverside County Sheriff's Department told The Press-Enterprise that is was a DNA swab collected from the boy's mother that was used to positively identify the remains. "
Alek J Hidell August 02, 2013 at 12:48 AM
His brother must've really caved in his skull that it took so long to make a full ID. They found his bashed head partially sticking out of a grave all smelly just 75 feet away from the house, like he was a zombie trying to get out of the grave and point out his brother who killed him...... What a twisted little goth you are, Skylor..Satan loves you
Laura August 02, 2013 at 11:47 AM
Bushy and Rosita: You are living proof of how Obama got elected president.........twice.
Carl Petersen III August 02, 2013 at 01:16 PM
Laura August 02, 2013 at 11:47 AM "Bushy and Rosita: You are living proof of how Obama got elected president.........twice." ____________________________________________________ They're personally responsible for putting up clueless Republican candidates? How doe this possibly become about politics?
Laura August 02, 2013 at 01:45 PM
Ok. You felt left out. Bushy, Rosita & Carl............living proof.
Carl Petersen III August 02, 2013 at 02:18 PM
Laura August 02, 2013 at 01:45 PM "Ok. You felt left out. Bushy, Rosita & Carl............living proof." ____________________________________________________ Nice way to avoid answering the question.
Carl Petersen III August 02, 2013 at 02:27 PM
Laura August 02, 2013 at 01:45 PM "Ok. You felt left out. Bushy, Rosita & Carl............living proof." ____________________________________________________ I guess because the three of us refuse to go along with unsubstantiated rumors and innuendo you consider us "low information voters." As a Republican, I am sure that you subscribe to some type of religious belief of the Judaeo Christian variety. What happened to "Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor."
Laura August 02, 2013 at 02:59 PM
Not low information, more like uneducated. And it shows. Not sure why this has anything to do with religion, but I have a feeling you will tell me. Calm down, Carl. Other's are allowed their opinion without being chased by the opinion police.
Carl Petersen III August 02, 2013 at 05:47 PM
Laura August 02, 2013 at 02:59 PM "Not low information, more like uneducated. And it shows." ____________________________________________________ College graduates backed Obama over Romney 50% to 48%, so there goes your theory. You still haven't explained what politics has to do with this story.
Carl Petersen III August 02, 2013 at 05:48 PM
Laura August 02, 2013 at 02:59 PM "Not sure why this has anything to do with religion," ____________________________________________________ You did not recognize my quote?
Carl Petersen III August 02, 2013 at 05:49 PM
Laura August 02, 2013 at 02:59 PM "Calm down, Carl. Other's are allowed their opinion without being chased by the opinion police." ____________________________________________________ Laura August 02, 2013 at 11:47 AM "Bushy and Rosita: You are living proof of how Obama got elected president.........twice." ____________________________________________________ Who exactly is the opinion police?
Steve Newman August 03, 2013 at 04:19 PM
Can't believe it took so long to ID the body- what an embarrassment if it was not him after all the ceremonies and vigils.

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