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An off-duty firefighter agreed to drive her behind the store and within minutes Ragland had spotted the distinctive hay barn-type building that she had seen in her vision. Something urged her to keep going, but it was private property.
The group approached members of a family sitting in a driveway and asked if they could keep going through their property. It was the family of Terry Jr. and they said yes.
California boy’s half brother charged with murder
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.
"We started to drive up this hill and it was steep so we stopped the car and walked," Ragland said. "All of sudden there was a single tree and then I smelled something."
There was a fence around the tree with a small break in it, and the group squeezed inside in the dark, with only the truck headlights and flashlights for light. Ragland’s kids walked over to a bump in the dirt.
"My kids said ... ‘Mom, there’s a dead animal’ and I walked over and said, ‘Oh my gosh, that’s not an animal,’" she recalled. "He was partially exposed and we were looking at it almost in shock. My son started throwing up and my daughter was screaming and crying."
The group immediately called authorities.
Ragland says she initially kept quiet about her role in the discovery but decided to speak out as questions multiplied about who had tipped off authorities.
It wasn’t immediately clear how deputies using bloodhounds, on horseback and in helicopters over four days had missed the remains, which Ragland has described as being six or eight inches above the dirt.
McConnell said the area had been searched previously but no one saw anything. She did not know if the body was there at the time or had been moved later.
Now, Ragland is trying to get back to her regular life, which includes running a business that helps people work through stumbling blocks in their life using a combination of "intuition, expert coaching and practical advice."
Ragland says she has tried to help authorities once before, when two teens were missing in an Orange County wilderness area earlier this year.
They were ultimately found by rescuers who heard their cries for help.
Ragland does not consider herself a psychic but instead relies on a "sixth sense" or "intuition" that most people don’t realize they have, she said.
"I’ve heard all the comments and people will say I’m crazy," she said. "At this point, all I can do is hope that this has brought the family closure and kept people from searching needlessly."
"We were truly hoping to find a little boy."
Initial reports from the mother of Terry Jr., relayed by law enforcement, described him as an autistic boy who took special medication and answered only to his nickname, "JuJu."
His father, however, insisted that his son was not autistic.
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