An 18-year-old snatched a sleeping 4-year-old boy from his Dallas home early Saturday morning and brutally beat him to death, leaving his lifeless, bloodied body in a street, court documents and video surveillance reportedly show.
The child, identified Monday as Cash Gernon, was living with his biological father’s former girlfriend. Cash and his twin brother were left in the woman’s care after their father disappeared in March. The boy’s biological mother says she did not know her twins were in the care of the former girlfriend and had been searching for her boys. She is now with Cash’s twin.
Darriynn Brown, 18, has been arrested and charged with kidnapping and burglary. More charges are expected as forensic is reviewed. The alleged killer’s bond is set at $1.5 million, according to The Associated Press.
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.
It remains unclear if Cash was targeted by Brown, though a young man who lives at the house, Kamron Mori, 18, told local news reporters that the attack seemed like senseless evil with no motivation. “Evil. No reason. Literally, no reason,” he said, adding, “I’m already cried out.”
Mori said the 4-year-old “was a happy boy who loved superheroes,” The Dallas Morning News reported. “He used to pretend to be Iron Man and use his arms to send imaginary energy rays just like Tony Stark, Mori said.”
The report noted that Mori knew Brown from Duncanville High School and middle school, where the pair had been friends. “Friends ain’t nothing,” Mori said, lamenting Cash’s death.
AP reported this week: “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.”
According to Assistant Police Chief Albert Martinez, it appeared the child suffered a violent death and that “an edged weapon” was used, the report highlighted.
The child was first found by a woman out jogging, identified as Antwainese Square. According to The Dallas Morning News, Square “initially thought the boy’s body was a dog before seeing his arms and legs.”
“To see a child, covered in blood, in the middle of the street, it’s truly traumatizing,” she told local reporters.
A woman named Mimi Brown, who said she is Brown’s mother, said the teen is a patient of Metrocare Services, where mental health is administered; she also claimed Brown is being “framed.”
”That’s not right at all,” she said. “I know my son is traumatized. I know he’s scared, because I’m scared.”
“Darriynn is very kind,” Mimi added. “I feel that he’s being framed.”