A four-year-old boy was found stabbed to death on a street in Dallas, Texas, after he was allegedly abducted from his bed by a teenager.
The body of Cash Gernon was discovered by a jogger at around 7am on Saturday, Assistant Police Chief Albert Martinez said, with the child appearing to have suffered a violent death from an “edged weapon”.
A woman claiming to be Cash’s mother told WFAAthat 18-year-old Darriynn Brown had broken into her home through a back door and snatched the “happy-go-lucky” child while he was sleeping. The woman, who was not named and spoke to the outlet off-camera, claimed Cash was unknown to Brown.
Brown was arrested hours later and was charged with kidnapping and theft, with police anticipating additional charges pending the results of a forensic analysis.
He was reportedly wearing an ankle monitor at the time of his arrest, stemming from a prior charge for evading arrest late last month.
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In a statement on Monday afternoon, Dallas police claimed that a woman named Monica Sherrod had been misidentified by the media as the boy’s mother, adding that Cash had been left in her care “by his father unbeknown to his biological mother, Ms Melinda Seagrove”.
“According to Ms Sherrod, she has not been able to contact the father since his departure from her residence in March 2021,” the statement said.
Cash’s biological mother “has been conducting an extensive search for her sons for an extended amount of time”, police added, with Ms Seagrove since reunited with Cash’s twin brother.
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Speaking to The Dallas Morning News, 39-year-old Antwainese Square said she called police after seeing Cash’s body while she was out for a run.
She said the child’s face and upper half of his body were covered in blood, and he was without shoes and a shirt.
“It breaks my heart. And now I’m afraid. Now I’m paranoid,” Ms Square said.
“ Because I don’t know what happened, I don’t know what’s going on. I mean just knowing someone out there is capable of killing a child, that alone is just unsettling.”
“It’s just so sad that someone woke up this morning and lost their child without a warning,” local woman Katie Guillen, who lived in the same neighbourhood as Cash, told WFAA.
“How do you throw away someone’s body like he’s nothing? He’s someone’s kid.”