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Law enforcement officials have yet to charge anyone with murder in the death of 4-year-old Cash Gernon, four days after his bloodied body was found in the early morning hours by a jogger passing through a Dallas, Texas, neighborhood.
One suspect – 18-year-old Darriynn Ronnell Brown – remains jailed on a $1.5 million bond since his arrest late Saturday on kidnapping and burglary charges.
Cash was asleep around 5 a.m. Saturday when a person was seen in home surveillance camera footage lifting the child out of his bed at a home in the 7500 block of Florina Parkway before carrying him away, according to an arrest affidavit.
Cash and his twin brother were staying at the home owned by their biological father’s ex-girlfriend, Monica Sherrod. She had not been able to get in contact with the boys’ father since March when he left his sons in her care. Court documents say Sherrod was the one to identify Brown in the surveillance footage watched together with investigators, but the connection Brown has to the family remains unclear.
Brown and Sherrod’s 18-year-old son, Kamron Mori, reportedly attended Duncanville High School together in the Dallas-Fort Worth area – but it’s unclear whether the two were friends.
Mooi said he viewed Cash as another younger brother.
“The sweetest little boy,” Mori, who lives with his mother in the same home where Cash was staying, told Fox 4 Dallas, about the boy in their care. “He loved everybody, the biggest smile ever. He loved to play superheroes with us and all that.”
Mori’s and Brown’s family homes are located within a half-mile from where Cash’s body was found, The Dallas Morning News reported.
Mori said he had seen Brown in passing just five days earlier.
“Just like, ‘Hey,’ you know, ‘How y’all doing,’ you know? And that was it,” Mori told Fox 4, describing the exchange with Brown. “There’s no reason for this. What he did was wrong and I don’t know what made him think that this is alright and this is OK. This is a 4-year-old kid, bruh, like for what?”
“Like, why? He was 4, you know. Who does this to a 4-year-old kid?” Mori also told KXAS-TV in an on-camera interview outside the home. “For what? For no reason, just because you want to be evil?”
Cash Gernon (left) in a photo provided by Kamron Mori. Gernon’s father was dating Mori’s mother and left the child in the ex-girlfriend’s care in March. Darriynn Ronnell Brown (right) is charged with kidnapping and burglary after allegedly lifting the child out of his bed and carrying him off.
Cash is believed to have been killed with an “edged weapon,” police said.
No motive has been identified, and police said additional charges could come against Brown as forensic evidence is still being analyzed.
Sherrod reported Cash missing around 11 a.m. Saturday – but Cash’s then-unidentified body had already been discovered hours earlier around 7 a.m. just eight blocks away. Antwainese Square said she was jogging through the Mountain Creek area neighborhood and first thought she saw a dog in the street in the 7500 block Saddleridge Drive. As she got closer, the woman realized it was boy’s lifeless body she found lying in a pool of blood.
Police declined to provide any updates about the potential for murder charges to Fox News Tuesday, instead referring to a blog page last updated Monday at 4 p.m.
Brown’s court-appointed defense attorney, Robbie McClung, told Fox News on Tuesday that it was “too soon” for her to comment at this time.
Mori’s two biological underage teenage brothers, as well as Cash’s twin 4-year-old brother, have since been removed from the home by child protective services, KXAS-TV reported. Cash’s twin brother has been reunited with their biological mother, Melinda Seagroves.
Police said Seagroves and her mother and the boys’ grandmother, Connie Ward, had been conducting a search for the twins “for an extended amount of time.” Seagroves was unaware the boys’ father had placed them in Sherrod’s care.
Brown’s mother, Mimi Brown, told The Dallas Morning News outside her home that she believed her son had been “framed,” as he has several young cousins he helps take care of and wouldn’t harm.
“Darriynn is very kind,” she said. “I feel that he’s being framed.”
She said her son is a patient at Metrocare Services, which provides mental health care to children and adults, according to the outlet.
“I know my son is traumatized,” Mimi Brown added. “I know he’s scared, because I’m scared.”
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