When the father of 11-year-old Terry Smith Jr. learned his son was reported missing on Sunday, he says he suspected right off the bat that something didn't add up to the boy's disappearance.
"The longer he was gone, the more I knew there was more to the story than met the eye," said Terry Smith Sr.
Smith commented on his son's death from his home in West Virginia, a day after authorities recovered a body matching his son's description in the back yard of the home where the boy lived in Menifee.
A 16-year-old family member, believed to be the victim's half-brother has been arrested, suspected of murder.
According to Smith, the half-brother had anger issues, and that he feared the worst when his son's mother informed him the two boys had gotten into a fight.
"She told me (the half-brother) had been sneaking out of the house and Terry Jr. went to follow him and him and (the half-brother) got into it," said Smith. "She didn't need to go any further than that. As soon as she said him and (the half- brother) got into it, I knew they wouldn't find Terry Jr. alive."
Smith said his son was afraid of his half-brother and had wanted to move back with him in West Virginia. He also maintains his son was not autistic, despite what the boy's mother told authorities and the media.
"No, no, autistic no. If you talk to anybody back here that knows Terry Jr., they would all say you're crazy," he said.
Smith has indicated he hopes to bring his son's remains back to West Virginia, where he was born, for burial.