The search for 11-year-old Terry Smith ended tragically Wednesday when investigators found a buried body on the rural Menifee property where he lived with his family, leading to the arrest of a teenage family member in his killing.
About noon, investigators found a slight body believed to be Terry’s in a shallow, dirt-covered grave. The discovery put a stop to a desperate search for the boy that ended up covering a roughly 55-square-mile area near Lake Elsinore.
News that a body had been found was a crushing blow to a tight-knit community near Lake Elsinore and the roughly 1,000 searchers who had been looking for Terry since his disappearance was announced Sunday.
“He was a very good kid, very nice and sweet, never did anything wrong,” said a sorrowful Dallal Harb, the owner of the Menifee Market, a convenience store near the Smiths’ property. Harb, 31, said Terry attended the same school as her two sons and she would sometimes pick him up after school and bring him to her store for a snack before sending him home.
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