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Source: Half brother is suspect in Calif boy death

Officials closed a road Wednesday during the search for an 11-year-old autistic boy who disappeared from his Southern California home on Saturday.
Officials closed a road Wednesday during the search for an 11-year-old autistic boy who disappeared from his Southern California home on Saturday. FRANK BELLINO/associated press

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The teenage suspect arrested on suspicion of murder in the disappearance of an 11-year-old California autistic boy is the child’s half brother, a person close to the investigation said Thursday.

The person, who was not authorized to speak publicly about the case, told The Associated Press that charges could be filed as soon as Friday against Terry Dewayne Smith Jr.’s 16-year-old half brother, whose name has not been released.

Police found a body matching Terry’s description Wednesday in a shallow grave under a tree about 75 feet from the house where he lived with his mother, half brother, and other family members.

The boy was reported missing Sunday by his mother, Shawna Smith, and was last seen Saturday evening by his half brother, authorities have said.

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