EYEWITNESS LOCAL NEWS11-Year Old WV Native Discovered Dead In California
from Eyewitness News Online
Reported by: Kennie Bass
Videographer: Matt Durrett
Web Producer: Kennie Bass
Reported: Jul. 11, 2013 6:36 PM EDT
Updated: Jul. 12, 2013 3:37 AM EDT
Charleston , Kanawha County , West Virginia
Terry Dewayne Smith Jr., 11, had been missing from his southern California home since Saturday.
Over the last few days, hundreds of volunteers had joined the search for him.
However, Tuesday, police said they discovered his body buried in a shallow grave in his backyard.
His father said Terry's 16-year old half-brother has been arrested on suspicion of murder.
Terry was born in West Virginia and lived here until he was 8. His father still lives in Charleston.
"When she called me Sunday and told me he was missing just the tone in her voice I knew something was wrong," Terry Smith said. "Really wrong. And the longer he was gone the more I knew there was more to the story than met the eye."
While the body has not been positively identified, police said it matches the 11 year-old's description. It was discovered about 75 feet from the house, buried under a tree. Terry was last seen on Saturday. His father said he was following his half-brother, who had been allegedly sneaking out of the house.
"She told me that Skyler had been sneaking out of the house and Terry Jr. went to follow him and that he and Skyler got into it," Smith said. "She didn't go any further than that but as soon as she said him and Skyler got into it I knew they wouldn't find Terry Jr. alive."
Smith has submitted DNA to help in identifying the body.
"And all I want to do - the last thing he asked me from his own words was, 'Dad I want to come home,' Smith said. "And I want to do everything I can to get him here."
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