Emilliano Terry, Age 3

I find it very disheartening that many missing non-Caucasian children oftentimes never cross our television screens.  Sadly, for a missing child to attract widespread publicity and to improve the odds of the child being found, it is better if the child is white, wealthy, cute and under the age of 12.   In 2005, Scripps Howard News Service did a first of its kind study which found that white children were the subjects of more than two-thirds of the dispatches appearing on the Associated Press’ national wire during a 5-year period and accounted for three-quarters of missing-children coverage on CNN.

According to the Scripps Howard study “162 missing-children cases reported by the Associated Press from Jan. 1, 2000, through Dec. 31, 2004. Forty-three CNN reports were also studied. Scripps Howard determined the race of the child in each case by checking records maintained by missing-children organizations or by contacting police investigators.

White children accounted for 67 percent of AP’s missing-children coverage and for 76 percent of CNN’s. 

Black children accounted for 17 percent of the AP stories, 13 percent of CNN’s, 19 percent in the Justice Department’s study and 23 percent of cases reported to the National Center.  The discrepancies for Hispanic children were greater, accounting for just 11 percent of AP’s reporting and 9 percent of CNN’s stories”  Source:  Capitol Hill Blue

Those statistics are very upsetting.  ALL children should elicit the same type of coverage in the process for locating them.  Emilliano Terry is one that as far as I have seen has not made national coverage.  The 3-year-old was reported missing by his mother, 20-year old Camilia Terry on Sunday evening from an East Side.  She stated that her son was seen getting into a vehicle.  Law enforcement soon questioned her story and ordered that a garbage truck in her neighborhood be stopped and searched.  Emillio’s body was found Monday evening in a trash bag at a recycling station in Oakwood, Ohio.  He was disfigured and his cause of death was determined to be skull fracture.  He was THREE!  How can anyone ever elicit that much rage to hurt someone so much smaller and innocent?  I will never understand it.

Emilliano’s mother was arrested and is being charged with his death.  During the search for information about this young mother, much is being made of the fact that Camilia Terry was a foster child who had recently aged out of the system.   I’m not sure what bearing that has on this case.  Sadly, infanticide happens in all walks of life – and across all socio-economic levels of society.   If there were people in her life that knew something was going on, then the responsibility falls on them to protect innocent children.  Sometimes it takes a village to raise a child and that means that if you realize that something is amiss or children are being abused that you must report it.

Camillia was obviously reaching out for help.  She posted many videos online of her singing about her life and struggles that she faced.  Perhaps she was overcome with the burdens of being so young and having three young children to care for.  On November 21 she made this post on an adoption forum:

camilia terry11/21/2012
I HAVE A THREE YEAR OLD TODDLER I WANT TO PUT UP FOR ADOPTION WHEN I WAS PREGNANT WITH HIM I WAS GOING TO GO THROUGH IT BUT PEOPLE KEPT CONVINCING ME TO DO OTHER WISE HE HAS PROBLEMS THAT I DONT KNOW HOW TO DEAL WITH AND PREFER FOR HIM TO BE WITH A FAMILY WHO CAN HANDLE IT AND THE FATHER NEVER BEING AROUND NEVER HELPED HARD TO FIND TODDLER ADOPTION AGENCYS

One will never know what drove her to kill her child, but the bottom line is Emilliano Terry is a child.  Not black, yellow or green, but a CHILD who deserves the same attention as any other missing and murdered child.

12 Responses to Emilliano Terry, Age 3

  1. BooBoo says:

    I just read about this earlier today. Apparently she has/had 3 children ages 5 months to 5 years old. Her first pregnancy was she was 14-15 years old. Sadly this girl is a product of her environment. She was released from the juvie system in March of this year and in May she did reach out for help. Here’s some of what I read…

    “Terry, who will appear this morning in Cleveland Municipal Court, entered the same system her children now are in when she was a traumatized child, a victim of abuse who felt unloved. Social workers spent years in the same position with her that they now find themselves in with her children — mulling over what would provide the best chances for a healthy life.

    Nearly 600 pages of records released by Juvenile Court show a constellation of ways social workers tried to help Terry after the county took her into temporary custody in 2007, when she was 14. That was more than five years after her mother, Taray Terry, was first reported to authorities for harming her children.

    “Even then her wounds were already so deep,” said Marilyn Lyles, the grandmother of two of Terry’s half-siblings. Terry lived with Lyles for a short time in 2007. Her 11-year-old sister and 9-year-old brother remain there and are doing well.

    Lyles said that Terry tried to kill herself by overdosing on pills as she struggled to cope with the abuse she had suffered. Court records show a friend of her mother assaulted her and then tried to bribe her to keep quiet.

    “The child told the mother what happened, but the mother did not believe the child,” a social worker stated in a court filing. The man was later sentenced to three years in prison, according to the records. Her mother was sentenced to probation for child endangering.

    Lyles said Terry and her siblings were afraid of talking about the abuse until they finally opened up to a woman who had been taking them to church and on other outings. That woman contacted authorities, who took the children that day.

    “Those kids were so frightened,” said Lyles. Terry’s father was supposed to come get her, but he never showed up.

    “I know she felt unloved,” Lyles said. “She felt, ‘Mommy don’t love me, daddy don’t love me, nobody loves me.’ ”

    Taray Terry’s four children told caseworkers and counselors that their mother kicked, choked, whipped and starved them at times, records show. When she showed up at the agency for a meeting with workers, she smelled of alcohol and a test showed she had been drinking, records show.”

    Read more here:

    http://www.cleveland.com/metro/index.ssf/2012/11/camilia_terrys_remaining_child.html

  2. RadioDeJay says:

    This is a sad case. Social services had been working with this family for years. The mother had gone to them several times asking for help with the child. I also heard that she was more interested in having a singing career than taking care of her family. The police also suspect that the 3 year old’s brother may have seen him being killed. Apparently the way the FBI figured out were to find the child’s body was by watching a video taken by cameras across from where the family lived. In the video they saw the brother pointing to a garbage truck as he and mom were walking to the park.

    One reason that there may not of been much media attention in this case us because an Amber Alert was never issued. The police knew from beginning that the mother had done something with the child. The copy of the Police Report showed where the cop had put down that he thought foul play was involved.

    I do agree with you about how the media only shows covetage on the stories about cute white children. It is said that missing children is just a rating ploy with them. They pick which child they will talk about because they know majority if people are shocked that someone would harm such a cute child.

  3. BooBoo says:

    I don’t think this girl had the emotional or mental stability to keep these children. She is just out of foster care herself and 2 months after being kicked to the curb cause she got too old, she asked for help. I feel bad for her. She has had nothing but a shitty life thanks to her family. Personally, while I do feel it is a horrendous crime, I don’t think she should serve time. I think she needs mental help more than anything else. You don’t grow up in her shoes and come out ok. Do they even know who all the fathers are of her 3 kids? Pregnant at 14 and sexually and physically abused, I can only imagine who the father is of that child.

    • prinnie says:

      What is sad is when foster kids age out. They have very little resources available to them after spending what is usually a tumultuous life without learning life lessons to survive as adults. Country singer, Jimmy Wayne has an absolutely amazing project called Project Meet Me Halfway that focuses on the needs of foster kids aging out of the system. It makes me sad that so many people are so quick to lay blame, but sit back and do nothing about the situation to deter disaster. Things don’t fix themselves and sometimes it takes the concern of just one person to get the ball rolling.

  4. Theo Ffensivatheist says:

    These kids need access to Abortion clinics. Sadly these are becoming harder to find because of (mainly) religious nuts who also think that abstinence only sex ed’ is the answer. This happens all to often & the US is a society so hung up on sex that a flashed nipple on TV makes headlines. To be honest, IMO until religious influence is gotten out of government, this situation is very likely to be repeated & the perpetrators punished for what was an inevitability. Americas attitude towards sex is broken.

    • prinnie says:

      Yeah it absolutely is broken. What I do in the privacy of my own bedroom is of no concern to some old man who hasn’t seen a vagina since it saw him. I can think of 9,999 other problems that absolutely take the forefront to what two consenting adults do. Our society is broken and there are a butt load of parents who are to blame for allowing their little monsters out into the world to reak havoc because they failed to provide them with social boundaries or moral compass.

  5. Scott says:

    Regarding missing children, you’re forgetting that 70% of the population is white so 67% of reports being about missing white children sounds about right statistically. Blacks are about 12% of the population, and were 13% of the missing kids on CNN, again, statistically, right on the mark. I’m seeing a manufactured racial issue here where it’s just mathematical.

    If you put 90 white kids in a room and 10 black kids, and randomly pick 5 kids, you’re likely to get 4 white kids, perhaps even 5, just due to the laws of statistical averages.

    • Scott is right about proportionality. I am a CASA advocate for children who have been removed from their homes because of neglect or abuse. This kind of behavior towards young children cuts across all races and classes of people. Alcohol, drugs and the mental illness that follows when these things are abused play a prominent role in this problem. I can guarantee it that the adults involved with this have had significant issues with drugs or more likely alcohol.

      • prinnie says:

        I think a lot of attention was given to the fact that she is/was a foster child, and no doubt that system is broken. When kids age out of the system they are tossed out into the wild world with little to no social or economic survival skills. The mother of this child had a horrible past, and while this does not excuse the murder of her child, it certainly brings up causation and how she came to this place in her life. It is a sad situation — for all involved.

        Our foster system needs help. Jimmy Wayne of Project Meet Me Halfway has devoted his life to helping foster kids who are aging out of the system. Dwight, thank you very much for your service to CASA. You are providing a very important and noble service to your community.

  6. Kj says:

    I know this is an old post, but it strikes me, as a young mother in a stable situation, who planned to have my child, that society certainly downplays the mental and emotional difficulties that come from raising a child. Even though i nannied for years, i was ill prepared for the frustration, anger, rage and resentment that motherhood would bring at times. I do not believe that if i had become a mother earlier in life, and in a more difficult situation that i would have been able to deal with the issues that come from motherhood. Young single mothers need more options, more help, more counseling, more therapy. When a young single mother believes she could harm her child there should be somewhere she can take the child. Social services should have been aware of this mothers plea for help. Putting your child up for adoption later in their life should be a viable option, for their own safety. It saddens me to admit that somewhere in the back of my mind i have a tiny understanding that if i let my emotions, frustrations, rage and resentment towards my little child get the best of me, or go untreated, that it could build up to a point where child abuse would not be a surprising outcome. Luckily, i recognize that this could become a problem. Im not in denial that someday i might hurt the child i love so much, and thanks to the fact that i AM a privileged white woman with insurance that covers behavioral health and support, i am getting the help and treatment i need to avoid such an outcome. I know that most women who recognize they might have a problem do not have the support they need, and are not in a situation to seek help or afford counseling or therapy, and in those cases, sometimes this is the horrific outcome. I believe that child abuse needs to be talked about not as an unthinkable act that no sane person could commit, but as a very real and possible outcome that anyone can be driven to commit if they do not address their small problems before they get to be big problems. The truth is that even the kindest, gentlest people could, under the right circumstances, abuse a child. And what starts out as discipline, and morphs into abuse could just as easily result in the death of a child if there is no opportunity for intervention. I am so full of heartbreak for this child, as well as for his poor mother who obviously was not prepared to care for these children considering her unfortunate upbringing, as well as her socio-economic status. As a mother I know that what she has done in a moment of hopelessness, and rage, and irrationality will be in her conscience forever, and she is likely heartbroken as well. I am heartbroken for the siblings of this boy who likely suffered at the hands of this overwhelmed mother, and now suffer the loss of their little brother.

  7. Don’t know where commenter Scott gets his info, but the uneven coverage is not a function of mere numbers. This problem has been around long enough that small efforts out there try to address it, like the blog “Black, Missing But Not Forgotten”

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