The award-winning Shaker Heights High School student news organization

The Shakerite

The award-winning Shaker Heights High School student news organization

The Shakerite

The award-winning Shaker Heights High School student news organization

The Shakerite

Shaker Reacts to Allegations Against Shaker Graduate

Shaker graduate Camilia Terry (’12) was charged with the aggravated murder of her 3-year-old son and appeared before the Cleveland Municipal Court Nov. 29.

Members of the high school community remarked that this case’s proximity to Shaker heightens its relevance.

Junior Nate Monga said that Terrry’s Shaker connection brings the case a lot closer.

“I think when you see somebody, it’s not natural to think that they’re capable of ending a life,” he said. “To think that I may have encountered somebody who later killed her own child is a shock even if I didn’t know her personally.”

Social worker Chris Ruma-Cullen said, however, that Shaker is not unique in this instance. “In this case, I know she was a part of our community,” she said. “This kind of tragedy could happen anywhere. Shaker isn’t any less vulnerable than other communities.”

Currently Terry is held on a $2 million bail due to her son Emilliano Terry’s injuries, which include rib fractures and a lacerated liver, and for being a flight risk. Police said Terry may face further charges.

Terry reported Emilliano missing from Kossuth Park Nov. 25 in a tearful call to emergency services. However, this story changed in the proceeding days, and Terry is no longer speaking with investigators, police told the Plain Dealer.

Hours after the 911 call, a body was found in Oakwood Village at a waste-processing site inside a duffel bag, according to assistant county prosecutor Brian Murphy. Due to decomposition, investigators used DNA testing to identify the body as Terry’s missing son.

The Cuyahoga County medical examiner’s office released the official cause of death Dec. 4, stating that Emilliano died from blunt impact to his head, torso and extremities, and that he was killed on or around Nov. 21, according to NewsNet 5.

Currently a full time Tri-C student, Terry attended Shaker Heights High School from August 2010 through January 2012. She finished high school at Northcoast, an alternative academy, but has a Shaker diploma.

Terry, who is now 20, gave birth to her first of three sons at age 14, and to Emilliano at 17.

Investigators are reviewing her social media accounts, which Deputy Chief Edward Tomba told NewsNet 5 reflect a life of abuse, confirmed by court records, and of loneliness.

Her other two sons are in temporary custody of the county. Starting in 2007, Terry lived in foster care, through the same system currently caring for her children.

“The situation [with foster care] is tough,” Ruma-Cullen said. “There are so many kids with so many needs. County social workers are so overburdened with cases and they do everything that they can.”

These kids include those at Shaker as well. “My fear is that this won’t impact teen mothers here. Everybody, especially teenagers, are very inclined to say that this happens to other people and won’t happen to them . . . Hopefully I’m wrong,” she said.

A preliminary hearing will be held Dec. 6.

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