UPDATE 7/12/13 @ 9:55 p.m.
SANTA ANA, Calif. (AP) -- Prosecutors have filed a murder charge against a Southern California teen in the death of his 11-year-old half brother, who was the subject of an intense search.
Riverside County District Attorney spokesman John Hall said Friday the charge against the 16-year-old suspect was filed in juvenile court. But he says prosecutors will ask a judge at a Monday hearing to determine if the case should be transferred to adult court.
The Associated Press is withholding the suspect's name because of his age.
Terry Dewayne Smith Jr.'s body was found Wednesday in a shallow grave under a tree behind the house he shared with his mother, half brother and other family.
His mother reported him missing Sunday, and a search lasted four days.
The boy’s father lives in Charleston. He says the last time he talked with his son was two months ago.
"Those are the last words I heard, was ‘Dad, I want to come home,’" the father, Terry Smith Sr., said.
Smith says he was supposed to be reunited with his son this summer.
"We had all kinds of things planned out," he said.
Smith raised his son, Terry Jr., in Charleston until he was 8.
He says when he heard Sunday from his ex-wife in Menifee, California that Terry Jr. was missing.
He told WSAZ.com he had a feeling he'd never see his boy again.
"Just the tone of her voice, I knew something bad happened," he said.
He says Terry Jr. was afraid of his 16-year-old half-brother, who Terry Sr. raised as his own until he was 7, when he and his wife split up.
"He does get violent,” Smith said. “All the kids were scared of him. It's not like he's a real scary kid. Up until he was 7 he was like a typical boy."
After days of searching, police say a body matching the description of the missing boy was found in a shallow grave under a tree in their back yard.
The half-brother was arrested on suspicion of murder.
"He was too fun loving, too much of a great kid to be buried under a tree like a pet,” Smith said.
Smith says he's grieving for the half-brother as well. He believes whatever pushed him to allegedly do something so terrible was brought on by coming from a broken home.
"That boy has been put through a lot of hell, and I mean a lot of hell," he said.
Smith hopes to bring his son's remains back to West Virginia for burial.
"This didn't have to happen,” he said. “All they had to do is what Terry Jr. asked, and he'd still be here."
The half-brother is expected to be charged in the next few days.
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