He has also been charged in a second incident involving a two-year-old girl.
Update 6/10/2021 7:22 AM
Darriynn Brown has been charged with the murder of Cash Gernon.
Dallas Police revealed that new lab evidence had come to light, allowing the charges to be upgraded almost four weeks after the four-year-old was found stabbed to death.
"Evidence submitted to the lab has been returned linking Darriynn Brown to Cash Gernon at the time of his death. Therefore he is also being charged with Capital Murder," they said in a brief statement Wednesday night.
They did not specify what the evidence was.
Brown had only been charged with kidnapping and burglary connected to the case.
Late last month Brown was also hit with two other charges related to another alleged kidnapping attempt back in February; this time a two-year-old girl. The incident was never reported because the girl's grandfather did not press charges at the time.
According to an affidavit obtained by CBS DFW, Brown broke into a home and was rummaging through it, when the homeowner caught him, picked up a kitchen knife and demanded he leave. He left, but came back and started kicking in the door; when the homeowner opened it to confront him again, he said Brown punched him in the face, ran inside and snatched up his sleeping two-year-old granddaughter, who awoke crying, and made towards the door.
The man managed to grab the girl back, but said he was punched in the face again, before Brown fled.
At the time, he decided not to press charges.
Two weeks later, he said he ran into Brown at Walmart, where Brown approached him and apologized, saying, "he was sorry for breaking into his house and trying to take his grandchild."
Detectives met with the man three days after Cash was found dead; he told them he now wanted to press charges.
Brown was then charged with injury to a child, elderly individual, or disabled individual, as well as a second count of burglary connected to the February 8 incident.
He remains in the Dallas County Jail.
Update 5/26/2021 7:38 AM
Trevor Gernon, who left his son at the home from which he would be abducted and murdered, has been banned from his funeral.
Gernon wants to pay his respects before handing himself over to police over outstanding drug charges.
But his sister Ashlee Marcoux told The Daily Beast that the boy's mother — Melinda Seagroves, who claims she had no idea where Cash and his twin brother were — does not want him at the ceremony because she blames him for the death.
"My brother wants to just say goodbye to his son and put him to rest, and this has just been really difficult to figure out," she said.
"We feel like we're in this stalemate, just stuck."
She says they are trying to work with the mother's side of the family to lay him to rest, "but the family isn't cooperating with us at all. They're just sending nasty messages. They blame my brother; they blame my mother for not taking them instead."
Trevor Gernon hadn't been heard from for a week after the killing; but on Sunday he released a recorded statement on his sister's YouTube channel:
In it, he said he knew Monica "for a good few years"; at the end of February she had offered her home and help "which I was grateful for, being a single dad of twin boys can be overwhelming from time to time."
After failing to find a job, "amongst other things", he decided to move from Dallas back to Houston — without his children. "I felt it was in the boys' best interest to not disrupt their routine."
He added: "From what it appeared, Monica was a trustworthy person."
"This choice I made with the best of intentions has resulted in a most horrific outcome. I have paid the most ultimate and painful of price for my poor judgement. And I have to live with this devastation every single day. I will never forgive myself."
He said he understood why the boy's mother blamed him, because they were in his care.
"To make matters worse, I have to fear for my freedom, as it is the goal of some to see me go to jail rather than grieve the loss of my little boy."
Marcoux said she doesn't know where exactly her brother is.
She claims he called detectives to ask if he could help the murder case, but never got a call back.
She also said jail might be "best thing for him to find the help that he needs for sobriety."
Update 5/19/2021 7:13 AM
The suspect returned to the house for Cash's twin brother Carter — but left without taking him.
Chilling security footage obtained by the Daily Mail shows the suspect snatching the sleeping Cash from his crib at 5 AM.
But the man returned at daybreak and hovered over the twin's bed, until something appears to spook him and he flees the house a second time, this time empty-handed.
Within minutes of his return visit, Cash's lifeless body would be discovered about a mile and a half away.
Monica Sherrod told the publication the suspect, whom she identified as one of her older son's friends, had come in through an unlocked garage door and forced open the back door into the house.
"Other footage shows him returning at 7 AM. It seemed he was spooked by someone," she said. "It chills me to think that he could have been coming back for Carter."
"It shows him taking the blanket off Cash and shows him snatching him and running with him while he is still asleep," she said, describing the footage.
"He stares at him for a minute. I have watched it over and over again. I can't watch it anymore."
She said Cash normally wakes her, but didn't that morning
"I thought he might have gone outside. That was until I watched my surveillance camera, which showed someone taking him out."
She said she had no idea why the child was targeted.
The jogger who found the body also spoke to Daily Mail, describing with horrific detail how she found him almost naked, covered in blood and crawling with ants. She initially thought it was a dog.
"I called my mom, because the only thing I could see at first was the hair. I said, 'Mom, it's weird, it's not moving.' So I started to walk slow and the closer I got I started noticing things."
"I said, 'Mom, I see a hand, I think I see a body. I think I actually see a body.' And I got close, and I said, 'Mom, it's a child. It is a child.' And I just started screaming."
Calling paramedics, they asked her to stay with him and check for signs of life, and if there was any, to try to save him.
original story 5/19/2021 10:00 AM
A four-year-old Texas boy has been stabbed to death after being taken from his bed.
The body of Cash Gernon was found by a jogger early on Saturday morning, four hours before he was reported missing.
18-year-old Darriynn Ronnell Brown (pictured above right) has been arrested in connection with the crime, but so far only been charged with kidnapping and burglary. Further charges are expected pending forensic analysis, according to police.
Investigators say security footage from the Florina Parkway, Dallas home shows Brown lifting and carrying the sleeping boy from his crib at 5 AM on Saturday. The child's twin brother was left behind.
Two hours later, a jogger out for an early morning run came across what she believed to be the body of a dog — until she noticed the arms and legs. Lying in a pool of blood eight blocks from where he was taken, police said the boy — who was barefoot and had no shirt on — had been stabbed multiple times with an edged weapon.
At 11 AM, Monica Sherrod called police to report the boy missing. But investigators quickly learned she was not the child's mother. She had been dating the boy's father up until March -- but they split up and he suddenly disappeared, leaving her with his kids, where they had stayed ever since.
As yet, nobody knows where the father is ... and that includes the twins' biological mother. According to authorities, Melinda Seagroves and her mother had been looking for her sons since the father disappeared. They thought the boys were still with their father, and had no idea he had left them with his ex-girlfriend months ago.
The surviving twin has been reunited with his family.
Police have not identified a motive for the attack, nor if there is any connection between the suspect and either family. But Sherrod's son, 18-year-old Kamron Mori, said he knew Brown from Duncanville High School and middle school — and that they had once been friends.
"Friends ain't nothing," he told Dallas News. "Evil. No reason. Literally, no reason."
He told WFAA the house cameras recorded Brown taking Cash, who he considered his little brother.
"It shows him coming in. Took him while he was asleep. While he is asleep!" Mori said. "He carried him out of my house while he is asleep."
"Random. Yes. Random out of nowhere, for no reason," he added. "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."
"Honestly, I'm confused bro. Like why? He's 4, ya know. Like who does this to a 4-year-old kid? That was my brother. I don't care if nobody told me he wasn't. He was."
"Why couldn't he do it to me? I rather me than him. You know what I’m saying? Like, I'm older, so you could have taken me out," Mori added. "He was the sweetest boy ever."
A woman living at Brown's address who identified herself as his mother Mimi meanwhile insisted her son was home all weekend and could not have kidnapped the boy.
"That's not right at all," she said. "I know my son is traumatized. I know he's scared, because I'm scared."
She told Dallas News her son is a patient of Metrocare Services, which provides mental health care to children and adults; she said he has several young cousins that he helps take care of, and that he wouldn't have hurt Cash.
"Darriynn is very kind," she said. "I feel that he's being framed."