CLEVELAND — A crowd of more than 50 mourners gathered at Kossuth Park in Cleveland on Wednesday night to remember 3-year-old Emilliano Terry.
The toddler was reported missing by his mother, Camilia Terry, 20, on Sunday but what is believed to be his body was found Monday night inside garbage bags at a waste management site in Oakwood Village.
Terry was arrested that night and officially charged with one count of aggravated murder Wednesday morning in connection with Emilliano’s death.
Back at the park located at E. 121st Street and Williams Avenue, people struggled to make sense of the tragedy.
“It’ll make me start crying now if you think about,” said B.J. Loggins as he hugged his own daughter. “A 3-year-old … the innocence … I’m at a loss for words.”
Emilliano’s dad, Shawn Dotson, also attended the vigil to thank everyone for their kindness and support, but he is having a difficult time dealing with the loss of his little boy. He said he feels distraught.
“You know, it hurts man … it hurts … I’m very hurt,” he told Fox 8 News.
Also at the vigil was the uncle of Camilia’s oldest child, the 5-year-old boy who kept pointing at a dumpster on Monday which led investigators to his brother’s body.
Thomas Cobbs said, “I’m proud of him for what he did. That took a lot of courage.”
Wednesday afternoon, a custody hearing in Cuyahoga County Juvenile Court was continued until next Friday.
Cobbs’ family wants custody of the 5-year-old, but for now the boy and his infant brother remain in the care of Children and Family Services.
“We’re basically holding it together as much as we can,” said Cobbs.
Camilia is no longer cooperating with investigators, but at a press conference police said they did search her apartment and remove bags of evidence.
They’re also reviewing Camilia’s songs, YouTube and Facebook pages.
“Our challenge is locating the crime scene. We don’t know where this took place,” said Deputy Chief Edward Tomba.
The cause of death isn’t being released and DNA was needed to confirm Emilliano’s identity due to decomposition.
Cuyahoga County medical examiner Dr. Thomas Gilson said, “Until our investigation is over I cannot discuss cause of death because I think that this needs to be thoroughly investigated and done right.”
Until those answers are known, the community will continue trying to figure out how a mother could allegedly kill her own child and if could someone have done something to prevent it.