The death of a 4-year-old boy found in the middle of a Dallas street has left a community searching for answers and police officials angered.
Soon after the boy was discovered dead on Saddleridge Drive on Saturday morning, an 18-year-old was charged in connection to his death. Darriynn Brown faces kidnapping and theft charges and Dallas police said they anticipate additional charges based off forensic analysis.
Police were aided by the FBI and the public in making the arrest. Police did not say how the boy was killed, but Executive Assistant Police Chief Albert Martinez told KXAS an “edged weapon” was used.
“Unfortunately a small child was lost today in our city through a violent act and we will pursue justice to find whoever did this and bring some sort of closure, not only to family but to the community,” Martinez told the TV station. “We are shocked, we are very angry about what has happened to this small child.”
WFAA identified the boy as Cash Gernon, a twin described by his mom as a “happy-go-lucky” child.
An arrest affidavit accuses Brown of kidnapping Cash from his crib while he was sleeping, The Dallas Morning News reported. A motive is unknown.
Cash and his twin were staying at the home with his father’s girlfriend, and their father had been absent for two months, the newspaper reported.
“We got cameras all over the place in my house,” said Kamron Moori, who lives in the house where Cash was kidnapped, according to KXAS. “It shows him coming in, took him while he was asleep. While he was asleep. Carried him out of my house while he was asleep.”
Antwainese Square, 39, discovered Cash’s body while jogging the neighborhood Saturday morning. She initially thought the boy’s body was a dog, but then she saw his arms and legs, with ants at his feet, the Dallas Morning News reported.
“As a mother, this just — it breaks my heart,” Square told the newspaper. “It breaks my heart. 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. So I am praying that that baby gets justice.”
Brown’s home and the home where Cash was taken are within a half-mile of where the boy’s body was found, according to the Morning News.
Brown does not have a relationship with Cash and his family, the boy’s mother told WFAA.
A memorial on a street corner in the neighborhood was held Sunday for Cash, KXAS reported. Toronda Alford, a woman who has lived in the neighborhood for 11 years, said there is a lot of concern among the neighbors.
“Just the thought of a child — a 4-year-old,” Alford said, according to KXAS. “It’s just a senseless murder.”
Brown is being held in the Dallas County Jail on $750,000 bail.