“We are shocked, we are very angry about what has happened to this small child,” Dallas police Executive Assistant Chief Albert Martinez said.
Trigger warning: This story contains descriptions of violence and murder that readers may find distressing.
On the morning of Sunday, May 16, Antwainese Square, 39, was out for a jog at around 7 am on the 7500 block of Saddleridge Road when she noticed a boy's body on the road, lying in a puddle of blood. The woman immediately alerted officials, Assistant Police Chief Albert Martinez said, according to Daily Mail. The officer then added that the child —identified as 4-year-old Cash Gernon — allegedly suffered a violent death caused by an "edged weapon."
"A child was murdered through a violent act. We believe an edged weapon was used," Dallas police Executive Assistant Chief Albert Martinez said, per CNN. USA Today reports that around two hours before the boy was found dead, he was kidnapped from his bed by 18-year-old Darriynn Brown who broke into the house through the back door. Brown faces charges of kidnapping and theft, according to a news release from the Dallas Police Department.
Investigators are awaiting the results of forensic analysis and they believe additional charges will be filed. Brown is currently being held on a $750,000 bond, according to jail records, but details about what led to his arrest haven't been revealed, adds The Dallas Morning News.
At the time, Martinez said he believes the boy lived in the same locality. “We are shocked, we are very angry about what has happened to this small child,” Martinez said. Later, court records stated that Cash and his twin brother were staying in the home in the 7500 block of Florina Parkway with his father’s girlfriend, Monica Sherrod, who helped the police identify Brown as the kidnapper after reviewing surveillance tapes.
The boys were reportedly under the care of Sherrod after the father had been absent since March. Cash was identified by a woman claiming to be his mother, who told WFAA that Brown had broken into her home through a back door early Saturday morning and snatched the "happy-go-lucky" child while he was sleeping. She also added that there was no relationship between Brown and the child, and had no idea why he kidnapped Cash, according to PEOPLE. The cops, however, mentioned that the woman is the child's guardian.
A statement was released clarifying how Sherrod has been misidentified as the victim's mother. "'Cash was left in the care of Ms. Sherrod by his father unbeknownst to his biological mother, Ms. Melinda Seagroves," the release said. "According to Ms. Sherrod, she has not been able to contact the father since his departure from her residence in March 2021."
The Dallas police later added 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.
Square, who called in the crime to the police, reveals she was hysterical when she saw the body. She said that the boy’s face and the upper half of his body were covered in blood and that he didn’t have on shoes or a shirt. “As a mother, this just — it breaks my heart,” she said. “It breaks my heart. And now I’m afraid. Now I’m paranoid. Because I don’t know what happened, I don’t know what’s going on."
“I mean just knowing that someone out there is capable of killing a child, that alone is just unsettling,” she said. “So I am praying that that baby gets justice.” Meanwhile, a woman at Brown’s address, who identified herself as Mimi Brown, Darriynn Brown’s mother, said her son was at home all weekend, so it's impossible for him to have kidnapped the child.
”That’s not right at all,” Mimi Brown said. “I know my son is traumatized. I know he’s scared because I’m scared," reports The Dallas Morning News. She also mentioned that her son is a patient of Metrocare Services, which provides mental health care to children and adults. ”Darriynn is very kind,” she said. “I feel that he’s being framed.”
Anyone with further information about the horrendous crime is requested to call 911 or the police child abuse unit at 214-275-1300.
Cover Image Source: Facebook/Peyton Yager