A neighbour of four-year-old Cash Gernon, who was kidnapped and killed last month, has shared surveillance footage showing a man who appears to be the alleged killer opening the gate to his yard.
Dallas police asked residents in the neighbourhood to send in any home surveillance footage that might help the investigation.
Neighbour Jose Alvarado found footage from his video doorbell of what appeared to be Darryinn Brown, prowling around his fence near the home of Cash 10 weeks before the kidnapping on 15 May.
“It's really scary,” Mr Alvarado told The Daily Beast. “I have two kids, one girl and one boy, and they play basketball in the backyard.”
Another neighbour shared surveillance footage showing a man matching the description of the accused murderer checking if the cars in the neighbour’s driveway were locked.
The neighbour, who wanted to remain anonymous, said that in a still image from that night, 19 April, a man who appears to be Mr Brown is seemingly in the process of breaking a security camera, local Dallas outlet WFAA reported.
Members of the community met with city leaders on Monday night as Dallas Police Chief Eddie Garcia, Councilman Casey Thomas, and City Manager TC Broadnax spoke to worried neighbours.
Watch: Father of Cash Gernon is the 'easy scapegoat' - Nancy Grace
The neighbour who didn’t want to be identified asked Chief Garcia: “How do we make sure that this doesn't happen again? We called a month ago, and now a child’s dead.”
Other community members said at the meeting in southwest Dallas, Texas that they too had called police to report on Mr Brown, but that the calls were not followed up on before the death of Cash.
The Dallas County Medical Examiner’s Office ruled that his death was a homicide. Cash was taken from his bed that he shared with his twin brother Carter on 15 May and reportedly stabbed multiple times.
Teacher Antwainese Square was out for a morning walk when she found his bleeding body in the street on 15 May. At the Monday meeting, she said: “It’s really traumatising to see that.”
“I was on the phone with my mom,” Ms Square told The Daily Beast. “As I got closer, I could see an arm and a foot and I just began crying, saying, ‘Mom, I think I’m coming up on a body.’ And I started, ‘Mommy, it’s a child! It’s a child!’ And the baby had blood all over his face. At that point, my mom told me to get off the phone with her and immediately call 911 … The baby had ants all over the bottom of his feet. So I pretty much knew that he was gone.”
Surveillance footage from the home of Cash showed him being taken from his bed at around 5am.
Mr Brown, 18, was arrested on 16 May and is charged with kidnapping and theft. Police are awaiting forensic evidence to decide to charge Mr Brown with murder, WFAA reported.
Councilman Thomas lives in the neighbourhood and was the one who called for the meeting.
“We’re hurting,” he said on Monday night. “And when I asked for these city leaders and our police to be here, they came knowing they were needed.”
Law enforcement said Cash was taken from the home of his father’s ex-girlfriend, Monica Sherrod.
Trevor Gernon, 31, released a statement on his sister’s YouTube channel in which he said that he will never forgive himself for leaving his son and his twin brother with a friend and going away.
“I have paid the most ultimate and painful price for my poor judgment and I have to live with this devastation every single day,” the father said, at times in tears in the video.
Cash’s brother Carter is now with his mother, who reportedly lives in Houston.
This article was amended on 8 June 2021. An earlier version said that the video footage appeared to show the man opening the gate to the backyard of Cash Gernon’s home, but it appears to be the gate to a neighbouring property.
Watch the latest videos from Yahoo News UK