Center Responds to Toddler’s Death

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CLEVELAND -- A mom accused of killing her toddler faced a judge Thursday morning.

Camilia Terry, 20, was arraigned in Cleveland Municipal Court before Judge Pinkey Carr.

The young mother did not enter a plea and did not look up during the entire hearing, but her lawyers requested a preliminary hearing which will be held next week.

While Terry sits in jail, held on $2 million bond, her grandfather doesn’t believe she intentionally harmed her son, 3-year-old Emilliano Terry.

Lonnie Terry said, “I haven’t been able to sleep.  It’s a big tragedy.  I think it’s possible it’s an accident.  Maybe she was afraid to tell.”

Prosecutors say Emilliano died from blunt force trauma to the head and had a skull fracture.

His body was stuffed in garbage bags and dumped in the trash several days before Camilia reported him missing on Sunday.

DNA tests confirmed the boy's identity.

Camilia Terry's lawyers asked the public not to rush to judgement.

“She’s very hurt and very devastated and grieving the loss of her child,” said attorney John Powers.

Visit FOX8.com's blog to read updates on the investigation ...

People close to Camilia say she had an extremely difficult childhood and was in foster care when she became a mom.  She stayed in the system until she aged out of it.

She reportedly requested help from Children and Family Services last spring and was reported to them in July but the allegations were unsubstantiated.

Mentors at a local organization that specializes in helping teen foster moms transition into adulthood are extremely saddened by the case.

“It just broke my heart because this is what I do every day,” said Karen Davis, the lead mentor at Beech Brook.

At Beech Brook, a center located at E. 188th Street and Buckeye Road, teen moms receive counseling and many other emotional and financial support services.

Davis says they see about 40 moms each year and have many success stories.

They hope other teen moms who need assistance will learn from Camilia’s situation and seek help.

“You know we all need support we all need encouragement. And it’s important to them because they’ve never had it before,” said Davis.

For more information on Beech Brook, click here.

Continue reading about Camilia and Emilliano Terry ...

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