Darriynn Brown is an 18-year-old Dallas man who is accused of kidnapping and murdering a 4-year-old boy named Cash Gernon who was taken from his crib and found in the street.
“The suspect has been identified as 18-year-old Darriynn Brown. He is charged with kidnapping and burglary. Dallas investigators anticipate additional charges, pending results from a forensic analysis,” Dallas police wrote in a news release.
The child was identified as Cash Gernon by Malini Basu, a reporter with WFAA-TV. The motive is not clear; it’s also not clear whether Brown was a stranger to Cash. The hashtag #CashGernon was trending as some people argued the national media was not giving enough attention to the boy’s death.
The Daily Mail obtained home surveillance videos that the outlet reported show Brown taking the boy from his crib. According to the Daily Mail, 39-year-old Monica Sherrod, the ex-girlfriend of Cash’s father and the person with whom Cash was living, identified Brown “as the brother of her older sons’ friend.” A second video shows Brown returning to take Cash’s twin Carter, the Daily Mail reported, but the man in the video leaves without taking the boy. Watch the videos here and here:
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Police Say the Boy Was Found Dead in the Street, Shirtless & Shoeless
Police described a horrific sequence of events.
On Saturday, May 15, 2021, at approximately 6:50 a.m., “officers received a call regarding a child deceased on the street in the 7500 block of Saddleridge Drive. As a result of the investigation, an arrest has been made in the homicide of the four-year-old toddler,” they wrote in the news release.
“Through the hard work of the men and women of the Dallas Police Department this criminal was brought to justice and it would not have been possible without the Dallas FBI Evidence Response Team and the public’s assistance.”
The motive is not known.
“Honestly, I’m confused bro,” Kamron Mori, who considered the boy like a brother, told WFAA-TV. “Like why? He’s 4, ya know. Like who does this to a 4-year-old kid?”
He said he went to school with the suspect but was baffled by the motive, telling the television station, “Random. Yes. Random out of nowhere, for no reason. There’s not a reason for none of this. It’s not from revenge. Not from hate. Not from none of that. Nothing. To get back at us? Nothing.”
2. The Suspect Used an ‘Edged Weapon,’ Police Say
The child’s cause of death was not released. But police said the killer used an edged weapon, according to CBS 11 in Dallas.
WFAA-TV reported that the child had “multiple wounds” to his body.
The child was “shirtless and shoeless” when found, according to The Dallas Morning News. The newspaper reported that a jogger discovered the child’s body, initially thinking he was a dog.
3. Brown Had a Pending Misdemeanor Charge at the Time of His Arrest
Brown was already facing a misdemeanor charge of evading arrest from April 27, 2021, according to online court records in Dallas County.
The Dallas Morning News reported that he lives with his parents “who provide for him financially.” And his address in court records is just a half mile from where the child’s body was discovered.
It’s not clear whether Brown and the boy knew each other. According to The New York Post, a local news report that Brown was wearing an ankle monitor at the time of the boy’s murder proved inaccurate.
4. Police Say Cash Was Taken From His Crib
According to the Dallas Morning News, an arrest affidavit in the case says that the child was lifted out of his crib and kidnapped.
The newspaper reported that Cash and his brother were staying with his father’s girlfriend, Monica Sherrod.
The newspaper reported that the father “has been absent since March” and Cash’s mother and grandmother were looking for the two boys. Sherrod is the person who told police Cash was missing and said that Brown was the man in a surveillance video, the newspaper added.
The Morning News interviewed a neighbor who described Cash as a “happy boy” who liked Iron Man and other superheroes. Basu wrote on Twitter that Cash has a twin brother and was sleeping when he was taken.
5. Brown, Who Is From Duncanville, Has Mental Health Issues
According to the Morning News, Brown went to Duncanville high and middle schools.
A woman who identified herself as Brown’s mother claimed he was “framed” to the Morning News and said Brown “is a patient of Metrocare Services, which provides mental health care to children and adults.”