THE alleged killer of Texas boy Cash Gernon twice entered the child's family home through the garage, it emerged on Wednesday – while a jogger who stumbled on the boy’s stabbed body initially thought he was a dead dog.
"That’s when I noticed the baby had ants at the bottom of his feet so I knew he was deceased then,” said Antwainese Square, 39, recalling the startling discovery at around 6.30am in an interview with the Dallas Morning News.
“It was heart-wrenching because this baby could have been no more than five.”
Cops confirmed the body Square found was 4-year-old Cash Gernon.
Cash had suffered multiple wounds from “an edged weapon” and wearing shorts when he was ditched on the road.
Police have said his death was a homicide.
Evidence has led police to name Darriynn Brown for taking the child from his crib at around 5a.m. Saturday.
He had been missing for two hours until the ex-girlfriend of Cash’s biological father, Monica Sherrod, called cops.
Footage pulled from surveillance cameras installed in the six-bedroom Florina Parkway home shows the boy being snatched from his bed early Saturday morning by a man donning hooded attire and a backpack.
The same man is then seen returning to the boys' bedroom allegedly attempting to take his twin brother, Carter.
“This is hard to do. He [Brown] took him at 4:58am,” a distraught Sherrod told the Daily Mail while replaying the surveillance camera footage when the invader takes her child and attempts to take his twin brother.
Cops say Brown plucked Cash while he was sleeping next to his twin.
“That's the time that he took Cash. And he came back for Carter. I can't really watch it.”
Sherrod said she had been looking after Cash and Carter like they were her own since their biological father, Trevor Gernon, 31, split after he purportedly learned of an open warrant for his arrest involving an illicit pill case.
“I don't know where Trevor is,” she told the Mail.
“I have tried reaching out but I'm getting no response."
She added: “He left because he had a warrant. He got busted with pills that he said weren't his, before we got together.”
On Saturday when Cash went missing Sherrod recalled waking up late and noticing there was no sign of Cash.
“I was like, it's 10 o'clock already, you guys,” she said.
“So I figured Cash was still in bed.”
When he wasn't the crib or anywhere else, Sherrod rang authorities.
It was around 11am by then, and Sherrod was thinking Cash was merely missing, according to The Dallas Morning News, quoting the affidavit.
It was while she and her family were being questioned that she was reminded that there were cameras installed in the home.
“When you're going through something like that… all you think about is your baby that's missing,” she told the Mail.
“And when they said mom has cameras I rewinded the cameras and there he was, the boy, taking my son out of his bed."
Sherrod claimed she knew Brown was the man who appeared twice in the video as she and the rest of her family – her sons Matthew, 15, Landon, 14, and Kamron, 18, Carter, 4, plus her daughter Emily, 16, slept.
The alleged kidnapping killer was an acquaintance to one of her sons.
In fact, Brown had allegedly been visiting her home while she was out grocery shopping two days prior.
She returned home and found Brown spending time with Cash.
The unannounced visit and playtime with her young son irritated Sherrod.
“I told him don't come back around my kids,” she told the Mail. “I don't want you.”
She chewed out her older son and daughter for letting the young man into the home without her permission.
“He was only here a short time,” she said. “Emily [her daughter] said he creeped her out.
“I got upset with them.”
The suspected kidnapper managed to quietly breach the garage door.
“The kidnapper broke in through that door right there,” she said.
“The garage doesn't latch. He came in and broke the connecting door into the home.
“We are on the other side of the house, we didn't hear anything. We were all sleeping.”
Child abuse detectives found the 18-year-old Brown at his home – half-mile from where Cash’s body was found – and took him into custody.
Once they performed a search of the home where Cash was living, detectives discovered a piece of tissue paper with drops of blood on it and a small pocket knife, the Dallas Morning News reported.
Meanwhile, a makeshift memorial was assembled and Sherrod dropped off the child's favorite dinosaur toy.
The dead child adored superheroes and would mimic Iron Man's pulse powers, his older brother Kamron Mori, 18, told the Dallas Morning News.
He admitted he and his family are inconsolable after all they endured.
"I’m already cried out,” he said.
Cash's biological mother and grandmother have been in touch with authorities while Cash was missing.
They have since managed to reunite with Carter, the Dallas Morning News confirmed.
On Monday Brown, who was wearing an ankle bracelet for an unrelated crime on the morning of the kidnapping, was held in lieu of $1.5 million bail after being charged with kidnapping and burglary.
More charges are expected to be brought once investigators complete the forensic lab work.
Mimi Brown, who claimed to be Brown’s mother and who lives with her, is convinced authorities are wrongfully placing blame on her son.
”That’s not right at all,” Mimi Brown told the Dallas Morning News.
“I know my son is traumatized. I know he’s scared, because I’m scared.”
The mother claimed her son is seeking mental health treatment but looks after his young cousins and that he’s harmless.
“Darriynn is very kind,” she told the paper. “I feel that he’s being framed.”
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