The four-year-old boy was found with multiple wounds in the Mountain Creek neighbourhood, near the 7500 block of Saddleridge Drive. A neighbour told the police that she found the body around 6.45am on Saturday.
Police have arrested 18-year-old Darriynn Brown in connection with the murder.
Albert Martinez, the executive assistant police chief, told reporters the death appeared to be a “violent” one and that an “edged weapon” was probably used to kill the toddler. He said that the child was killed at around 5am that morning. Without providing more details about the identity of the child, Martinez said that the child lived in the community where his body was found.
Mr Brown was arrested on charges of kidnapping and theft on Saturday night. Police said they were awaiting forensic analysis results before considering any additional charges against Mr Brown. He was held in the Dallas County jail and bail was set at $750,000.
Martinez told the media: “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 the family but to the community.” He added: “We are shocked, we are very angry about what has happened to this small child.”
One neighbour identified as Antwainese Square, 39, told NBC 5 that she was out for her morning walk around 6.40am on Saturday when she found the body. Initially, she said, she thought it was a dog, but as she got closer she was horrified to find the child’s body and immediately called 911.
She said: “The baby didn’t have shoes, he didn’t have a shirt on and he was just laying there. For a kid to have to go through that, that’s just disturbing, and that’s disturbing for me to carry all day.”
A memorial has been set up for the toddler on a street corner.
Another neighbour, Toronda Alford, said: “Just the thought of a child, a four-year-old, it’s just a senseless murder.”
The FBI on Sunday said that it was assisting with evidence collection.