The woman who reported 4-year-old Darnell Gray missing from his Missouri home last week is now charged in his death, PEOPLE confirms.
Quatavia Givens, Darnell’s father’s ex-girlfriend who was taking care of him when he went missing, is charged with first-degree child abuse resulting in death.
Givens called police on the morning of Oct. 25, saying Darnell had gone missing. Jefferson City police originally believed Darnell had wandered off from home late Wednesday night.
When his body was found Tuesday morning, about five days later, by a search party, Jefferson City Police Lt. David Williams announced that Darnell did not die on “his own accord.”
Givens, 26, is being held in Cole County Jail, according to jail officials.
Darnell’s father told local station ACB7 he had asked Givens to watch his son while he visited his sick mother in Chicago, where Darnell was originally from.
“I trusted her to watch him. But I wasn’t expecting her to do this to him,” Kijuanis Gray told the station.
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Gray told the station he is no longer with Darnell’s mother, who lives in Chicago, and that he moved to Jefferson City with his son in search of a better life.
“He liked to smile, he liked to be goofy. He loved to run around with me. He loved to play basketball. It’s a lot,” Gray said, according to ABC7.
“That’s my only child that I had,” Gray continued. “My only child.”
Both Darnell’s parents are in Missouri cooperating with authorities. It is unclear whether Givens has an attorney or has entered a plea.
Police have not revealed how Darnell died.