An African American teenager abducted a four-year-old boy from his bed and stabbed him to death, according to authorities in Texas.
A jogger found the slain body of Cash Gernon in the city’s Mountain Creek neighborhood at around 7am Saturday, Assistant Police Chief Albert Martinez announced on Tuesday, adding that it appeared the child suffered a brutally violent death from an ‘edged weapon’.
Darriynn Brown, 18, was arrested in the case hours later and was charged with kidnapping and theft. Police said they also anticipate murder charges pending the results of a forensic analysis.
The woman, who was not named and spoke to the outlet off-camera, claimed the boy was unknown to Brown and said she had no idea what led the man to target him.
Dallas police issued an update on Monday afternoon which claimed that a woman named Monica Sherrod had been misidentified by the media as Cash’s mom. It’s unclear whether Sherrod is the woman who spoke to WFAA.
‘Cash was left in the care of Ms. Sherrod by his father unbeknownst to his biological mother, Ms. Melinda Seagroves,’ the release said.
‘According to Ms. Sherrod, she has not been able to contact the father since his departure from her residence in March 2021.’
The release further explained that Seagroves – the biological mother of Cash and his twin brother – ‘has been conducting an extensive search for her sons for an extended amount of time’.
Police said Cash’s twin has since been reunited with Seagroves.
The woman who identified herself as Cash’s mother had told WFAA that the twin was in state custody.
She said the kidnapping was captured on surveillance video and investigators reportedly asked neighbors for any additional footage that could help shed light on what happened.
Antwainese Square, 39, told The Dallas Morning News she called police after seeing Cash’s body on the 7500 block of Saddleridge Road just before 7am while she was out for a run.
She said the boy’s face and upper half of his body were covered in blood and that he didn’t have shoes or a shirt.
‘It breaks my heart,’ Square told the newspaper. ‘And now I’m afraid. Now I’m paranoid. Because I don’t know what happened, I don’t know what’s going on.
‘I mean just knowing that someone out there is capable of killing a child, that alone is just unsettling.’
Martinez, the assistant police chief, said it’s believed Cash was killed at about 5am and that he lived in the neighborhood where his body was found.
The boy appeared to have suffered multiple stab wounds.
‘We are shocked, we are very angry about what has happened to this small child,’ Martinez said.
Some residents told WFAA that Brown was regularly seen in the Mountain Creek area where Cash was killed. Court records showed he lived with his parents about a half-mile from the crime scene.
Neighbor Jose Ramirez called the slaying ‘hard to believe’ and said: ‘I don’t think [Brown] was in his right mind.’
By midafternoon Saturday, FBI agents were focusing on a wooded trail not far from where the body was found and police were on horseback in the area.
The trail, which neighbors said is popular for biking, was sealed off with crime-scene tape.
‘They were back in the alley, looking through trash containers to see if they could find any type of evidence,’ Ramirez said. ‘They went down the street, and they spent a good time down there.’
Another neighbor, Katie Guillen, spoke to the outlet when she stopped by a makeshift memorial at the site where Cash’s body was found to drop off flowers.
‘It’s just so sad that someone woke up this morning and lost their child without a warning,’ Guillen said.
‘How do you throw away someone’s body like he’s nothing? He’s someone’s kid.’
Brown was being held Monday in Dallas County jail on $750,000 bond. It’s unclear whether he has an attorney.
At the time of his arrest late Sunday night Brown was wearing an ankle monitor stemming from a prior charge for evading arrest in late April, according to the Dallas Morning News.
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