ARAPAHOE COUNTY, Colo. (CBS4) – It was an emotional job investigators call “a hunt for justice.” The family of a 7-month-old boy finally has same closure after the child’s remains were found nearly three months after he went missing.
Those who searched for the boy’s remains said the job was brutal. A team from 34 agencies along with citizen volunteers searched the disposal site in Arapahoe County for 52 days before finding the remains.
The baby’s mother, Sharrieckia Page, is now facing murder charges. Police believe Page suffocated her infant and threw his body in a dumpster. That lead to an exhaustive and emotional search of the landfill. It’s an experience rescuers will never forget.
“I said, ‘Absolutely. It’s a baby that needs to be found. He deserves justice and everything,’ ” volunteer Vickie Smiley said.
Smiley spent 40 days inside the landfill, searching for the unthinkable — the body of Torrey Brown, Jr.
“I’m thinking, ‘Let me find him; no, don’t let me find him,’ ” Smiley said.
A 56-year-old grandmother of five, Smiley withstood heat, wind and rain, combing through an area two stories deep.
“You’re in a tyvek suit that keeps the liquids out, so it’s very hot; a lot of hard work,” Smiley said. “You’re out there going through tons of trash, raking and everything.”
She wasn’t alone, however. She and her fellow volunteers with the community emergency response teams were joined by more than two dozen police agencies and organizations.
“You build up a camaraderie. There was joking and everything, but down deep we all knew that there was something that we were looking for, and we were all determined to find it,” Smiley said.
And when they did, Smiley was about 20 feet away.
“That’s when the tears came. And I’ve cried off and on since then.”
It was the hardest job even veteran police officers say they’ve ever done.
“They were basically working through Hell so one small soul could go to Heaven,” an officer said.
Page has been charged with first-degree murder and child abuse resulting in death. She will be back in court July 20.