A 4-year-old boy found dead in a Dallas neighborhood street over the weekend was taken from his crib as he slept early Saturday morning, according to an arrest warrant affidavit.
Home surveillance footage showed a man police said was Darriynn Ronnell Brown lift a sleeping child from a crib and carry him away around 5 a.m. Saturday.
The child was identified in court records as Cash Gernon. He and his twin brother were staying in the home in the 7500 block of Florina Parkway with his father’s girlfriend, Monica Sherrod, police said. The house is in the Mountain Creek area of Dallas.
The father, who police did not name, has been absent since March, police said. Cash’s biological mother and grandmother have been looking for Cash and his twin, who has been reunited with them. Their mother believed the boys were with their dad and did not know the father had left them with Sherrod, Dallas police spokeswoman Melinda Gutierrez said. Officers don’t know where the father is, Gutierrez said.
Sherrod called police shortly before 11 a.m. and said Cash was missing, the affidavit said. Sherrod told police that Brown was the man in the video, the affidavit says.
Brown’s court-appointed lawyer declined to comment Monday before meeting with him. Cash’s mother and father, as well as Sherrod, could not be reached for comment. Cash’s relatives requested privacy as they make funeral arrangements, Dallas police said.
About four hours before Cash was reported missing, a jogger found a child’s body lying in a pool of blood in the 7500 block Saddleridge Drive, about eight blocks away from the house where Sherrod reported Cash missing.
Cash had multiple wounds from “an edged weapon” and was not wearing a shirt or shoes when he was found in the road, police said. Police have said his death was a homicide. The jogger who found Cash, Antwainese Square, said she initially thought the boy’s body was a dog before seeing his arms and legs.
A Dallas police detective who examined photos and cellphone videos of Cash determined the boy was the child who had been found dead.
When police searched the home where Cash had been staying, they reported finding a piece of tissue paper with drops of blood on it and a small pocket knife, according to a search-warrant affidavit.
The detective watched the home surveillance video with Sherrod, who identified Brown, 18, according to the affidavit. The detective’s affidavit does not detail Brown’s relationship to Cash’s family or offer any explanation for Brown taking the boy.
Child abuse detectives found Brown at his home and took him to the law enforcement wing of the Dallas Children’s Advocacy Center for an interview before he was booked into jail. Brown remained jailed Monday in lieu of $1.5 million bail and faces charges of kidnapping and burglary. Police said they anticipate additional charges after a forensic analysis is completed.
The neighborhood, which is near Cedar Ridge Preserve, is a mix of middle-class and low-income homes. Brown’s home and Cash’s home are both within a half-mile of where his body was found.
A home next door to where the boy was taken flew a flag at half-staff Monday. A small memorial with a rain-soaked teddy bear, a few bouquets of flowers and a plastic firefighter’s helmet was placed on the curb near where he was found.
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