By Adam Townsend and Maggie Avants
Pam Ragland, a self-described healer, intuitive and "quantum thought shifter" based in the Lake Forest-Rancho Santa Margarita area, says her "intuition" led her straight to the body of a suspected murder victim in Menifee Wednesday night.
A positive identification on the body of a male juvenile found Wednesday in Menifee has yet to be confirmed. According to a sergeant at the Riverside County Coroner’s Office, it may take several days before the positive identification is made.
Riverside County Sheriff's Department Detective John Powers told KFI-AM 640 radio Thursday that Ragland led deputies right to the body. He said Ragland called the tip line and joined the more than 1,000 volunteers searching for the body.
She approached the property without knowing it belonged to the boy's family -- his brother is in custody on suspicion of the murder -- but she also led him straight to the partially-buried body Powers hadn't seen during his initial search.
Initially, Ragland was a suspect, but deputies eventually determined she had nothing to do with the case.
"The whole thing is extremely bizarre," Powers said on the radio. "I've never experienced anything like this in my life... Not in 23 years have I seen anything like this. The whole department is blown away by this,” Powers said.
But RCSD spokeswoman Sgt. Lisa McConnell stopped short of confirming Ragland's involvement to Patch, however.
"We are only identifying the reporting party as a citizen volunteer who was out searching," she said.
Police suspect the human remains are those of Terry Smith, the 11-year-old boy who was reported missing July 7. The remains were discovered in a shallow grave in the backyard of Terry’s home in the 33000 block of Helen Lane.
Police have made an arrest in the case, the boy’s 16-year-old brother. According to Menifee Police Chief John Hill, the teen is being held on suspicion of murder.
Police had earlier confirmed that the 16-year-old half-brother of Terry’s resided at the home, along with their mother, Shawna Smith, and a female juvenile. Additionally, neighbors say a female partner of Shawna’s also lived at the residence situated on about an acre of property in a semi-rural neighborhood.
Ragland did not immediately return phone calls and a text message Friday, but her website is filled with information about her trademarked "thought shifting" and "quantum thought shifting" processes that claim to help "erase addictions," manage autism and ADHD.
She told KFI that she drove around the city "like a compass" with an off-duty firefighter in a Jeep until they drove onto the property and found the boy’s body.