EAST CLEVELAND, Ohio - Shawn Dotson never got to know his son. He said the boy's mother forced him out of the picture.
"I guess she felt as if she couldn't be involved with me, I couldn't be involved with him," he said.
Dotson's son is 3-year-old Emilliano Terry, whose death is being considered a homicide after a body was found at a waste plant in Oakwood Village on Monday.
Dotson thought the child was living with his mother out of state until he learned that the boy was missing.
"There's a deep part of me who feels that it is partially my fault. So, I mean, it eats me up you know," he said. "I mean, every kid needs a father, you know. If he had his father in his life or round him, I'm like 99.9 percent sure that wouldn't have happened. He'd be secure. He'd be safe with me."
Dotson , 19, was a freshman in high school when he met Camilia Terry, who's in police custody in connection with her son's death. She has not yet been charged.
Neither Dotson or his family members ever saw anything in Camilia that made them think she would be capable of hurting the boy.
"She was just a young girl," said Porsha Dotson, Shawn's mother. "So, you know, every young girl goes through their 'I don't want a baby' or 'I had a baby by this guy. I'm young.' But talking with her and visiting with her when she was over at my house, no, I had no clue."
Porsha Dotson said she offered to raise Emilliano, but that never happened. Now, she will see that he gets a proper burial.
"I want to make sure we give him a proper burial so we'll know that he is finally at rest, because he never had rest. It was just sad," she said.