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'Are you harming her or setting me up for murder?' Missing girl's parents chatted before calling 911

Andrew Terry's two-day jury trial began Wednesday morning in Montgomery County

MONTGOMERY COUNTY, Va. – Wednesday marked the beginning of a scheduled two-day jury trial for a Blacksburg man accused of concealing the body of his missing 3-month-old daughter.

Andrew Terry was indicted in January in connection with the disappearance of Arieanna Day on Sept. 11, 2018.

He previously admitted to burying the baby near Jennelle Road after he picked her up bruised and barely alive from her mother's house in Roanoke, according to prosecutors.

During Wednesday's opening statements, the defense argued that Terry's two confessions don't mean he is automatically guilty. Because Arieanna's body is still missing, the defense argued there are other possibilities for what could've happened.

The defense said this includes Jessica Day, Arieanna's mom, saying she sold the baby or an adoption agency stealing the baby.

The morning session of Wednesday's trial saw four witnesses called by the prosecution:

  • Arieanna's godmother, who was with Arieanna and Day on Sept. 11, 2018, before the child went missing.
  • One of the first Roanoke police officers to respond to Day's apartment that night.
  • A Roanoke police officer who searched the apartment and Terry's car.
  • A Roanoke police detective who is also a forensics expert. The officer presented call logs and Facebook messages from both Day and Terry's phones.
  • The biggest takeaways from witness testimony so far include:

    • Before Arieanna went missing, Terry and Day had been arguing over custody of her and whether Terry was the girl's father.
    • Day called 911 about an hour after the child went missing.
    • Before calling 911, Terry and Day communicated using Facebook messenger and called each other
    • A Facebook message from Day to Terry said, " Are you harming her or setting me up for murder? "
    • Police body camera footage showed that Terry and Day were both calm and showed little emotion when officers arrived the night Arieanna went missing.
    • In the video, officers asked why Terry's pants were wet. He told them it was because he worked as a chef and was doing dishes.
    • When officers searched Terry's car, they found mud inside of it and also found clothes left in the car.
    • Terry's two confessions were also part of Wednesday's testimony
      • After hours of interviews, Terry confessed the next day to knowing more than he originally let on.
      • Audio of Terry claiming to have picked the baby up from Day bruised, bleeding and barely alive was played in court. In the audio, he told officers he put Arieanna in his car and drove to Montgomery County. At that point, Terry said she was dead, so he buried her along the railroad tracks in a shallow grave that he dug with his hands. However, when he led police there, there was no body . They said he'd be arrested and he said he only brought them there to prove he wasn't involved.
      • An hour-long interview from the following day was also played, where Terry went back to the original confession.

    What's still to come in court on Thursday:

    • The answer to the question, where is Arieanna's body now.

    Court reconvenes at 9 a.m. Thursday.

    10 News has extensively covered all aspects of this case since we first learned of Arieanna's disappearance last year.


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