Guardian IDs Slain Texas Boy, 4, and Says He Was Abducted from Home Before Being Found Dead in Street

Cash Gernon was abducted from a Dallas home as he slept, says the woman who police identified as the child's guardian

Cash Gernon
Cash Gernon. Photo: Dallas Police

A Texas woman says a suspect in the kidnapping of the 4-year-old boy she was watching entered her home as the 4-year-old slept, and that surveillance video shows the man breaking through a back door.

The boy, who the woman identified as Cash Gernon, was found dead in the street just before 7 a.m. Saturday, Dallas police confirmed to PEOPLE.

The suspect, 18-year-old Darriynn Brown, was arrested on charges of kidnapping and theft, according to a police news release. "Dallas investigators anticipate additional charges, pending results from a forensic analysis," police said.

"Even us as police officers, we are shocked," said executive assistant chief Albert Martinez, who added that the boy "was murdered through a violent act," likely with an edged weapon, reports CNN. "We're very angry about what has happened to the small child," he said.

Brown is being held in Dallas County jail on a $750,000 bond, according to online jail records, which do not list an attorney who might speak on his behalf.

Darriynn Brown
Darriynn Brown. Dallas Police

"Cash was sleeping when he was kidnapped," the woman, who was not named, told Dallas-Fort Worth TV station WFAA. She identified herself as the child's mother, but police said she was the boy's guardian.

The woman described Cash as "happy-go-lucky," and said he had a twin brother who is in state custody.

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She told the outlet that there was no relationship between Brown and the child, and that she had no idea why Brown would allegedly take the boy.

A neighbor, Antwainese Square, told the Dallas Morning News that she was jogging around 6:40 a.m. when she discovered the boy's body in the street, after initially thinking it was a dog.

"It's just so sad that someone woke up this morning and lost their child without a warning," Katie Guillen, who lives nearby, told WFAA.

"How do you throw away someone's body like he's nothing?" she said. "He's someone's kid."

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