Thursday, July 11, 2013

Search for missing Menifee boy, Terry Smith Jr., suspended, community lauded for search efforts, outpouring of support

MENIFEE – The search for 11-year old Terry Smith Jr., of Menifee, who was last seen at his home on Saturday, July 6, has been suspended. 

Yesterday, Menifee Police Captain John Hill called off the search after a tip led investigators to the boy’s home on Helen Lane where human remains consistent with a young boy’s were found. The Riverside County Coroner will confirm the identity of the remains as information becomes available.

“We, as a community, are heartbroken,” said Menifee Mayor Scott Mann. “More than 1,500 volunteers came together in hope to search for Terry. Now with this news, we come together to grieve for this boy and his family.”

Nearly 1,500 citizen volunteers and regional volunteer search and rescue teams worked alongside Menifee police and fire personnel, sheriff deputies and police officers from multiple Southern California agencies to search for Terry during the past four days in 100 plus degree heat. 

Menifee’s volunteer Community Emergency Response Team (CERT) and the city’s Office of Emergency Management support staff also helped with the search effort.

“The outpouring of community support has been truly amazing,” continued Mann. “Volunteers braved severe weather conditions to look for Terry for four long days. Good Samaritans brought food and water, and local businesses donated thousands of dollars in supplies. We can be proud of how we’ve come together as a community during this crisis.”

Multiple emergency service, police and search and rescue teams from throughout Southern California have assisted in the investigation including:

• Federal Bureau of Investigation
• National Center for Missing and Exploited Children
• California Office of Emergency Services - Chief Dennis Beene
• Riverside County Fire-Office of Emergency Services
• Cal Fire-Riverside County Fire Department
• Riverside County District Attorney's Office
• Los Angeles County, San Bernardino County, Orange County, and San Diego County sheriff departments
• Anaheim, Irvine and Garden Grove police departments 
• Long Beach Police Department, Search and Rescue
• Sierra Madre Search and Rescue
• Riverside Mountain Rescue Unit
• Desert Sheriff's Search and Rescue
• Riverside County Disaster Corps
• Riverside County Sheriff's Posse
• Citizen Emergency Response Teams from Menifee, Moreno Valley, Canyon Lake, Wildomar, Riverside, Temecula, and the Pass Area
• Riverside Amateur Civil Emergency Services (R.A.C.E.S.)
• Lake Elsinore, Perris, and Menifee Explorers
• Trauma Intervention Program of Southwest Riverside County

“On behalf of the city of Menifee, I would like to thank our neighboring public safety personnel and volunteers who have helped tirelessly in our search efforts,” said Mann. 

The Trauma Intervention Program of Southwest Riverside County is available to assist with individuals who may be having difficulty with the grieving process. They can be reached at (951) 226-6793.

This is an ongoing investigation and we encourage anyone with information to contact Investigator Jim Peters at the Riverside Sheriff's Central Homicide Unit, (951) 955 2777

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