When a little boy’s body was found in the middle of a Dallas street on a Saturday morning, his mother said he was kidnapped while he slept. An arrest has since been made, and the suspect’s identity should frighten us all.
Cash Gernon, a “happy-go-lucky” 4-year-old boy, was found dead at approximately 6:50 am on the street in the 7500 block of Saddleridge Drive on a Saturday morning, according to the Dallas Police Department. The boy, who suffered multiple wounds from what police say was an “edged weapon,” was identified by his mother, who said her son was kidnapped while he slept, the NY Post reported.
According to Cash’s mother, he was sound asleep when a suspect barged into their home through a back door and kidnapped him before his shirtless and shoeless body was later discovered in the street by a jogger early that fateful Saturday. He is believed to have likely died before 5 a.m., the Dallas Morning News reported. Surveillance video reportedly captured the kidnapping, the grieving mother said.
Investigators canvassed the area, scoured the neighborhood, and asked for help from the public, especially any neighbors who may have had additional video footage of the incident that may help them piece together what happened. Eventually, cops were able to identify the kidnapping suspect as 18-year-old Darriynn Brown and arrest him. This is where things get even more terrifying.
According to long-time neighbors, Darriynn Brown was often seen walking in the neighborhood, WFAA reported, but the boy’s distraught mother has no idea what led him to target her son. Although some nearby residents said Brown was regularly seen in the city’s Mountain Creek section, Cash Gernon’s mother said Brown didn’t know her child and that they don’t have any kind of relationship.
According to court documents, 18-year-old Darriynn Brown lived with his parents, who provide for him financially, just a half-mile away from where Cash’s body was found. Brown was charged with kidnapping and theft in connection to the boy’s death with additional charges expected in the homicide investigation following a forensic analysis, authorities said. In the meantime, Brown was ordered held at the Dallas County Jail on a $750,000 bond, records show.
Sadly, this wasn’t the teen’s first run-in with the law. According to authorities, at the time of Cash’s murder, Brown had an ankle monitoring bracelet on for a prior charge. Less than three weeks before the 4-year-old boy’s kidnapping and death, Brown was also busted for evading arrest. The case was still pending, making Cash Gernon’s death all the more senseless and tragic.
Cash Gernon is survived by a twin brother, who was reportedly in state custody, according to the grieving mother, following Brown’s arrest. Cash’s death has rightfully left the community troubled. “We are shocked, we are very angry about what has happened to this small child,” Police spokesman Albert Martinez said. Neighbors shared similar sentiments.
“Hard to believe. I don’t think he was in his right mind,” said neighbor Jose Ramirez, speaking of the boy’s death and the teen who was suspected of kidnapping and killing him. “They [investigators] were back in the alley, looking through trash containers to see if they could find any type of evidence. They went down the street, and they spent a good time down there,” Ramirez added.
Katie Guillen, a woman who lives nearby and had stopped by to bring flowers at the growing makeshift memorial where the 4-year-old boy’s body was found, also expressed her disbelief and shock.
“It’s just so sad that someone woke up this morning and lost their child without a warning,” she said. “How do you throw away someone’s body like he’s nothing? He’s someone’s kid.”
Neighbor Antwainese Square, who found Cash’s body and first mistook it for a dog before seeing his arms and legs, was also left deeply disturbed and “traumatized.”
“I noticed the baby had ants at the bottom of his feet. So I knew he was deceased then,” Square recalled. “I’m a little afraid, I don’t know what happened to him. To see that, to walk up on it…I don’t feel safe at all,” she added, calling the incident “heart-wrenching.”
Indeed, it’s downright heart-wrenching and frightening to think that a neighborhood teen would randomly target a young child, going as far as to break in and snatch the sleeping boy in the middle of the night. Sadly, this is the terrifying world we live in, so we must be vigilant. Lock your doors, be aware of your surroundings, report anything suspicious, and last but not least, be ready to defend yourself and your loved ones should danger ever darken your doorstep.