Investigators Take Stand in Emilliano Terry Murder Trial


Camilia Terry

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Camilia Terry
Camilia Terry

CLEVELAND, Ohio – At first they thought she was a bad parent, then they considered her a killer.  Investigators took the stand Wednesday in the trial of a mother accused of killing her three-year-old son.

Prosecutors played a recorded police interview in court.  At the time, detectives believed they were searching for a missing child and considered Camilia Terry, now 21, a victim.  They asked whether she knew of anyone who might want to take her son Emilliano.

“As I stated earlier, the only people that probably would be seeking revenge, back in ’06 it was this guy named [name omitted ] who burned my house down, but other than that, I can’t think of anybody else,” she told detectives.

In the recording, she also told detectives that a family friend had asked to adopt Emilliano, and she had also considered letting her father take him.

Terry reported Emilliano missing on November 25th of 2012, after telling police he disappeared from Kossuth Park on Cleveland’s east side.

(Emilliano Terry)
(Emilliano Terry)

In opening statements Tuesday, defense attorneys told jurors an ex-boyfriend drugged her, then killed her son, and that she was too afraid to tell investigators the truth.

Prosecutors said Terry later admitted to dumping the boy’s body in a trash bin near her apartment on Buckeye Road.  His body was found in a local landfill.

Wednesday, Cleveland’s fourth district commander testified that investigators first believed Terry’s story, but then it began to unravel.

“Miss Terry seemed remarkably calm, due to the circumstances. I can recall as I spoke to her that I was thinking I probably would be frantic myself, if my child was missing, but she was able to talk calmly and explain the circumstances. She was not crying at the time I talked to her and it struck me as odd,” testified Commander Deon McCaulley.

Judge Janet Burnside allowed jurors to ask questions.  In writing, one juror asked whether police questioned Terry about why a winter coat that appeared to be Emilliano’s was found in her apartment and was not with him.

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