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Terry Dewayne Smith Jr. is still missing and prayers are being said for the 11-year-old, who is autistic, to be found soon. Smith went missing on Saturday night in Menifee, Calif.
"We pledge that we will continue this effort until such time as circumstances dictate otherwise," Menifee mayor Scott Mann said at a news conference yesterday. "We will continue searching. We will find Terry."
One Menifee resident launched a Facebook page entitled "Prayers for Terry Dewayne 'Juju' Smith." Numerous people have commented on the page, offering prayers and support for the family during this uncertain time.
"The night has come and Terry has not been found," a post yesterday read. "My prayer tonight is for us to focus on this child and let the officials do their job (we could still lend a helping hand). Until then, my prayers for guidance for volunteers and law enforcement. And of course, protection for Terry – we MUST hope for the best. AMEN!"
The Menifee community is also coming together to do all it can to find Smith. Search team volunteers have numbered over 1,000 and businesses have donated food and drink for the volunteers. A fund has also been set up at a local bank to help keep the search effort funded.
"We're trying to support law enforcement and be more effective and organized than we were yesterday," resident Sarah Reid told menifee247.com. "Yesterday, we didn't have time to put it together effectively. Now we see what needs to be done."
Smith's mother, Shawna, has warned volunteers and anyone searching for her son to call him "Juju," which is his nickname. If he hears his full name, he may think that he is in trouble and not respond or worse, try to run away.
"We are in contact with the family," Deputy Albert Martinez said. "The stepbrother has been cooperative. He's saying the same thing to us that he has said in the media."
Skylor Atalano was the last one to see Smith before he disappeared; he told police that he was walking to a friend's house and noticed Smith following him. Skylor told Smith to go home and watched him walk away in that direction. Somehow, Smith did not make it home and police were immediately notified. There is no reason to suspect foul play.
Anyone with information is asked to contact the Riverside County Sheriff's Department (951) 776-1099.