About two hours before a 4-year-old was found lying on a neighborhood street in Dallas, a man lifted the sleeping boy from his bed and carried him away, court documents say, citing home surveillance video.
The boy, whom authorities identified Monday as Cash Gernon, was being taken care of by the girlfriend of Cash’s father, according to authorities. The girlfriend, who said Cash’s father had been absent since March, identified the person who took Cash from his bed at 5 a.m. Saturday as Darriynn Brown, police said.
A police detective watched the home surveillance video with the girlfriend, who identified Brown as the man who took the boy from his crib, according to the detective’s arrest affidavit obtained by The Dallas Morning News. The affidavit does not detail Brown’s relationship to Cash’s family or offer any explanation for Brown taking Cash.
Brown, 18, has been charged with kidnapping and theft, the Dallas Police Department said in a statement. Investigators anticipate more charges when results from forensics return, the statement added.
Also, Dallas police said that Cash’s mom did not know he and his twin brother were in the care of their father’s girlfriend and that the mother had been searching for her sons. Police said Cash’s twin is now with his mom.
Police received a call that there was a child dead on a neighborhood street at about 6:50 a.m. Saturday.
Police spokesman Albert Martinez told the Dallas Morning News that the boy died in a violent manner with an "edged weapon." The child's name hasn't been released but Martinez said authorities believe he lived in the southwest Dallas neighborhood where he was found.
“We are shocked, we are very angry about what has happened to this small child,” Martinez told the paper.
Brown’s bond is set at $1.5 million. His attorney, Robbie McClung, said Monday that she had not yet met with him so she could not comment.
Brown was arrested on April 27 on a misdemeanor charge of evading arrest in a case that’s still pending. According to court documents for that charge, he lives with his parents a half-mile from where the boy’s body was found. Neighbors have said Brown was known to walk in the area.
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Antwainese Square, 39, told the Morning News that she alerted authorities after seeing the boy's body while she was jogging Saturday morning. 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.
“I mean just knowing that someone out there is capable of killing a child, that alone is just unsettling,” she said.
Lila Gilbert, 18, told the paper that she walked down the road to the crime scene and saw the child. At one point, the blanket covering him fell off and she saw blood and what appeared to be bite marks on his face.
”It’s a lot to take in,” Gilbert said. “It’s so shocking to me that it’s a 4-year-old, someone’s baby. That could’ve been my little cousin or brother or something. It’s just the point that he’s gone now. It’s just terrifying.”
The Federal Bureau of Investigation was involved in the investigation into the homicide. Midafternoon Saturday they were focusing on a wooded trail not far from where the body was found. The trail, which neighbors said is popular for biking, was sealed off with crime-scene tape.
Contributing: The Associated Press.