CHARLESTON, W.Va. — The father of the 11-year old Southern California boy whose body was found in a shallow grave Wednesday says his son wanted to come back to West Virginia.
“That’s the last words I heard was, ‘Dad, I want to come home,’” Terry Smith, Sr. from Charleston told WSAZ television of his last conversation with Terry Smith, Jr. earlier this year.
Reports indicated the 16-year old half brother of Terry Jr. would be charged with murder in Menifee, Calif., as early as Friday for the boy’s death.
Terry Sr. said he found out his son—who lived in Charleston until he was 8—was missing last weekend when his ex-wife, Shawna Smith, called. “Just the tone of the voice and all that, I knew something bad had happened,” he said.
After the boy was reported missing Sunday, hundreds of volunteers helped law enforcement officers in a search that involved helicopters, horses and dogs.
Days of searching ended, though, when a shallow grave was found under a tree behind the home of Terry Jr.’s mother on Wednesday. Menifee police chief John Hill later said the boy’s death was the result of “a domestic issue” at the house.
“He was too fun-loving and too much of a great kid to be buried under a tree like a pet,” said Terry Sr. of his son’s death.