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Breasia Terrell's remains were found on March 22 in DeWitt, Iowa

By Harriet Sokmensuer
April 01, 2021 03:02 PM
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Breasia Terrell and Henry Earl Dinkins
Breasia Terrell and Henry Earl Dinkins
| Credit: Iowa Amber Alert (2)

The search for missing Breasia Terrell, the Iowa 10-year-old who disappeared last summer, has come to a tragic end with the discovery of her remains.

On Wednesday, the Davenport Police Department announced that human remains found on March 22 in DeWitt, Iowa, were identified as belonging to Breasia.  

Breasia was reported missing to police on July 10, 2020. Authorities issued an AMBER Alert for Breasia that listed 47-year-old Henry Earl Dinkins, a registered sex offender, as her alleged abductor.

Dinkins is currently behind bars on unrelated alleged sex offender registration violations.

At the time of Breasia's disappearance, her mother Aishia Lankford told the Waterloo-Cedar Falls Courier Dinkins is the is the father of another of her children. She said the pair dated almost a decade ago.

"I was with [Dinkins] and then I found out about him. He was weird," Lankford told the paper.

Breasia was last seen alive between July 9 and July 10. She was staying with her brother at Dinkins' home when she disappeared, the Courier reports.

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At the press conference Wednesday, Davenport Police Chief Paul Sikorski said Breasia's death is being investigated as a homicide, telling reporters, "Honestly, since she disappeared, we've investigated this case like it's a homicide."

It's unclear how Breasia died.

Following the news of her daughter's death, Lankford released a statement through the National Center for Missing and Endangered Children:

"Words cannot describe the heartache and emptiness that we feel now that police have confirmed the remains located in DeWitt, Iowa, are Breasia. Our love for Breasia has gotten us through the past nine months and will continue to see us through as we fight for justice. We want to thank the community, law enforcement, friends and family who have put in countless hours to help bring Bree home. We ask for privacy as we grieve the loss of our daughter, sister and friend. Our focus will now be on seeking answers to what happened on the night she was last seen."

According to the Des Moines Register, Dinkins, who was convicted of third-degree sexual abuse in 1990, has pleaded not guilty to three registry violations. He has not been charged in relation to Breasia's disappearance.