CLEVELAND — Cleveland police investigators on Tuesday night executed a search warrant on the apartment of 20-year-old Camilia Terry.
Bags of evidence were removed from the building located at 13008 Buckeye Road.
The young mother’s been arrested in connection with the death of her middle child, 3-year-old Emilliano Terry; although formal charges haven’t been filed.
*For live updates on this investigation, click HERE
“Currently we are treating this as a homicide event rather than a missing person or abduction,” said Cleveland Police Chief Michael McGrath.
On Sunday, Camilia had told police that Emilliano had disappeared from Kossuth Park, while she was pushing another child on a swing.
But her story began falling apart Monday, and a Fox 8 source inside the police department says she failed a polygraph test.
The source also says, Camilia’s 5-year-old son kept pointing at a dumpster. That led investigators to the Waste Management transfer station in Oakwood Village where they recovered a child’s tiny body stuffed inside a garbage bag.
“It really hurt. It really hurt,” said neighbor Jawana Craig.
Neighbors and volunteers, who had been searching around the clock inside abandoned homes, trash cans and along the train tracks, took the news especially hard, and some began to cry.
“It hurt. It makes you look at your kids in a different way,” said James Box, a community activist with the Peacemakers Alliance.
Pastor Angel Arroyo with the Guardian Angels added, “Part of me felt closure but part of me felt empty and broken.”
A source inside the police department says Camilia admitted to knowing her son had died Friday and to disposing of his body, but she said she doesn’t know how it happened.
Although that means Emilliano may never have been at Kossuth Park, people gathered there Tuesday night for an impromptu prayer service.
They lit candles and laid down teddy bears at the park and also over near Terry’s apartment.
Since decomposition had begun, DNA tests were conducted to positively confirm the boy’s identity. The Cuyahoga County Coroner’s Office hopes to have those test results soon and also the autopsy results with an official cause of death.
Investigators plan to turn evidence over to the prosecutor’s office Wednesday so that charges can be filed against Terry.
Her two other children are in the custody of Children and Family Services.
Community activists say they’ll keep praying for those children and also hug their own kids a little tighter. “It makes you grab them and keep them closer to you,” said James Box.
“Just made me grateful for the time I do have with my son,” said Pastor Angel Arroyo.
Emilliano’s father spoke to Fox 8 Tuesday. 19-year-old Shawn Dotson tells Fox 8 that he’s still numb to the idea that his son is dead.
A rally and vigil is planned for Wednesday to celebrate the short life of Emilliano Terry. It will be held at 5:30 p.m. at Kossuth Park. That’s at East 121st St. and Shaker Blvd. People can begin gathering at 5 p.m.
A memorial Facebook page has been set up where mourners can leave their condolences.
*Click here to visit R.I.P. Emilliano Terry