Thomas J. Sheeran
CLEVELAND: A woman was charged with aggravated murder on Wednesday in the death of her 3-year-old son, who she claimed had gone missing in a park during a weekend family outing and who police said had been killed, bagged and thrown in the trash.
Additional charges are likely when a Cuyahoga County grand jury takes up the case against Camilia Terry in the death of her middle son, Emilliano Terry, police Deputy Chief Edward Tomba said.
Investigators are reviewing the 20-year-old woman’s online song and comment postings, which could provide clues to a possible motive, Tomba said. The online postings reflect a life of sexual and physical abuse, loneliness and a dream that someone she knew was going to die.
The cause of the boy’s death hadn’t been determined, said Medical Examiner Thomas Gilson, who joined Tomba at a news conference.
In addition, Gilson said his office was awaiting a DNA sample from the mother to make a positive identification of the boy’s partially decomposed body.
Camilia Terry had reported the boy missing from a park on Sunday. She came under suspicion on Monday, when she changed her version of how the boy disappeared.
She had an attorney when questioned about the boy’s disappearance, but police couldn’t provide the attorney’s name, and none was listed in court documents Wednesday. Calls to her home were met Wednesday with a message that her voice mailbox was full and wasn’t taking messages.
Police have searched Terry’s apartment looking for clues as to where the boy was killed, but it’s unclear if he was killed there, Tomba said.
“There’s no glaring indication that this is where this alleged crime took place,” he said.
Nothing has turned up in the investigation indicating anyone else was involved in killing the boy, the deputy chief said.
Detectives have been questioning Terry’s family and neighbors to determine when the boy was last seen and help set a time of death. Tomba said detectives think the boy was last seen by someone outside his apartment on Thanksgiving Eve.
Terry is expected to be arraigned Thursday. Prosecutors will then present the case to a grand jury.
The boy’s father, Shawn Dotson, 19, told WEWS-TV he never got to know his son because Terry forced him out of the picture.
“I guess she felt as if she couldn’t be involved with me, I couldn’t be involved with him,” he said. “There’s a deep part of me who feels that it is partially my fault. So, I mean, it eats me up, you know?”
Terry’s two other sons, one 5 years old and the other 5 months old, are in county custody.
The dead boy is the third generation of his family involved in county social services, Cuyahoga County Department of Children and Family Services spokeswoman Mary Louise Madigan said.
The family history with the agency extends back to 2000 and a neglect complaint against Terry’s mother, the dead boy’s grandmother. Over the years there were more neglect complaints, some unsubstantiated, and later similar neglect complaints against Terry over the handling of her children, Madigan said.