[UPDATE Friday 12 July 2:52 EST]
BREAKING: Riverside County district attorney to charge half brother with murder of Menifee, Calif., boy.
— The Associated Press (@AP) July 12, 2013
Original story below
16-year-old Skylor Atilano the half-brother of a Terry Smith was arrested on suspicion of murdering the #Menifee boy.
— California Week (@RiversideWeekly) July 10, 2013
After a four day search for the missing boy, Terry Smith, 11, police called a press conference near the family home on July 10, reports The Desert Sun, to confirm the boy’s body had been found.
11-year-old Terry Dewayne Smith, who answers to “Juju,” had been missing since Saturday, July 6, reports Menifee 24/7. He had been left under the care of his brother, Skylor, while his mother went out to play pool with friends. Skylor told investigators that he last saw Terry when he told his brother to stop following him while Skylor went to a friend’s house.
Here’s what you need to know…
1. Police Have Confirmed the Arrest of a Family Member
Menifee City Police Chief John Hill called a press conference at 4:00 p.m. to tell the media that the search had been called off, reports NBC 4. Hill confirmed that human remains had been found in the back yard of the Smith family home had been identified as Smith’s. He further stated that an unnamed 16-year-old relative had been arrested in relation to the death.
2. Skylor Was Terry’s Half-Brother
Skylor lived with Terry, Terry’s mother, Shawna (also known as Bekkah) Smith, a 14-year-old sister, Mary Atilano. Terry Smith Sr. is reported by CBS LA to be living in West Virginia. He told them tonight:
I thought there was something fishy about the whole story to begin with. Things didn’t add up.
His father also added that he hadn’t spoken with his son in several months but that the last time he did, Terry asked him could he come and live with him in West Virginia, reports NBC 4.
Terry Smith Sr. also contradicted several reports that his son suffered from autism. Shawna Smith told the media at the beginnings of the search that Terry Jr. was autistic, but high-functioning due to medication. But Terry Smith Sr. told NBC 4:
Nope, nope, nope, in fact, when everyone in West Virginia heard that, they all flipped because they know better. He was a hyper little boy, he might have had ADHD.
Menifee 24/7 reported:
Skylor and his 14-year-old sister, Mary Atilano, are stepchildren who moved with their mother to California, but that Terry Jr. stayed with his father until about a year ago. At that time, he said, Terry Jr. visited his mother in California and asked to move here.
3. He Previously Called His Half-Brother a ‘Retard’ on Facebook
Skylor is in the 10th grade at Paloma Valley High School. In a now deleted post on his Facebook page, Atilano paraphrased the movie Step Brothers saying:
The bitch only keeps me and the retard around to fuck us.
Skylor atilano pic.twitter.com/mz5AGpjp5N
— bay (@bayleemorgannn) July 10, 2013
Skylor deleted the post saying:
So ivguess a lot of people took offence to somthing i had on my profile. Sorry i took it off just now but please keep in mind ive had that long before all of this.
4. He Had Been an Active Part of the Search For Terry
He had been actively searching for his brother and implored his Facebook friends to the same, he subsequently thanked them for their efforts.
5. He May Have Just Had His Heart Broken by a Girl
Judging by his Facebook posts, Atilano may have recently broken up with a girl, as of April 2013, he declared he was “in a relationship.” He wrote on July 4:
Adding later on the same day: