Community Gathers To Honor Menifee Boy Found Dead In Backyard Of Home
LAKE ELSINORE (CBSLA.com) — A community gathered Thursday night to honor an 11-year-old Menifee boy found dead in the backyard of his home a few weeks ago.
Terry Smith Sr., the father of Terry Smith Jr., planned the memorial service at Lamb’s Fellowship in Lake Elsinore to thank everyone who participated in the search for his son—known as “JuJu.”
“My heart goes out to each and every last one of you, and I want to hug each and every one that I can, shake hands,” he said.
Smith Sr. said details in the killing of his son will ultimately emerge. Smith Jr.’s half-brother, Skylor Atilano, has been charged with the murder.
“Let God do his work. He’ll find the truth, and the truth is going to come out,” said Smith Sr.
Fellow mourners agreed with the emotional father.
“Lots of unanswered questions,” said Kathy Jablecki. “Lots of mixed emotions, but the truth will prevail, will come out.”
Smith Sr.’s ex-wife and Smith Jr.’s mother, Shauna, was not at the memorial.
Smith Sr. is currently in a battle with his ex-wife over custody of his son’s body. He said his trip to the Southland from West Virginia was no easy task.
“I’m on retirement now, and I wasn’t expecting this. I pawned my car. We had funds coming in, but it wasn’t enough,” he said.