CLEVELAND -- One week ago, Cleveland Police were in search of a missing toddler. It was later learned that 3-year-old Emilliano Terry had been killed and his mother charged in connection with his death. The boy’s family continues to struggle with his tragic loss.
Porsha Dotson, Emilliano's paternal grandmother and Lilly Dixon, Camilia’s paternal grandmother and the boy's great-grandmother both appeared on the "Access Cleveland" show on WZAK radio Sunday.
"I grieve for you just like I hope you grieve for us. Because we lost a child that didn't need to be lost,” Dotson told Dixon.
Camilia Terry, 20, a mother of three, is now charged with aggravated murder in the death of her son. Dixon says the family was there for her.
"She did have a relationship with family. It is not like we threw her out to the curb and wasn't there trying to help,” she said.
Dixon said Camilia had gone to live with her father in Mississippi and her son had gotten temporary custody of Emilliano earlier this year. But, then Camila left his home.
"Something went wrong. I guess you know, my son got rules, you know,” Dixon added.
Dotson, whose son Shaun is Emillano's father, says they, too, wanted to help.
“She told us she was going to be moving back with her Dad. We were like, ok, but you don't have to take Emillano. We'll take him,” Dotson said.
She and Shaun last saw last saw Camilia and Emilliano about two years ago, when her son tried to get visitation rights. They were not aware that the mother and son had returned to Cleveland earlier this year.
The medical examiner ruled that Emilliano died of blunt force trauma to the head. But, investigators have yet to determine when and where the little boy died and how his body ended up in the trash. Dixon is still is disbelief over the death of her great-grandson.
"Only Camilia knows. Only she has the answers,” she said.
Dotson, who feels she was denied being part of Emilliano's life, has the responsibility of burying her grandson.
"It's bad enough I'm going to have to have a closed casket, because I'm not going to be able to see him,” she said.
Dotson will be establishing a fund to help pay for funeral expenses. She said she wants Emilliano to have a proper headstone and resting place.