After 4-year-old Cash Gernon was found dead on a residential street in Dallas last week, a neighbor of the house where the boy was living checked his security cameras to see if they’d captured anything that might help the investigation.
Jose Alvarado didn’t find anything from the early morning of May 15, when a teacher out for a morning walk found the little boy’s body about a half mile from his home, but he did spot the suspect peering into his own backyard about 10 weeks earlier.
“It’s really scary,” Alvarado told The Daily Beast. “I have two kids, one girl and one boy, and they play basketball in the backyard.
Dallas Police arrested Darriynn Brown, 18, and charged him with kidnapping and burglary in the case. Dramatic surveillance footage from inside the home of Monica Sherrod — Cash’s father’s girlfriend — shows Brown inside the bedroom where Cash slept with his twin brother Carter, as CrimeOnline previously reported. Brown picks up the sleeping boy and leaves.
Two hours later, shortly before 7 a.m., Antwainese Square came upon the boy’s body and called police. It wasn’t until 11 a.m. that Sherrod discovered Cash missing and called police herself. An autopsy determined the boy’s death was a homicide, caused by multiple stab wounds. Murder charges have not yet been filed, as police say they are awaiting further forensic test results.
In Alvarado’s video, Brown walks into Alvarado’s driveway from the alley with purpose, then pauses in front of the gate into Alvarado’s back yard before opening it. He peeks inside for a moment and then walks back to the alley, glancing over his shoulder as the gate closes behind him. When he reaches the alley, he pauses again, looking to his left before turning and walking back the way he came.
Alvarado said his home shares an alley with Sherrod’s, although it’s not clear how close the two houses are. Alvarado’s home sits on a corner lot between two alleys — the backyard Brown peered into is directly on that corner. Sherrod’s home is in the 7500 block of Florina Parkway; Alvarado’s is in the 8900 block of Yadak Road, which runs perpendicular to Florina Parkway.
Trevor Gernon, the twins’ father, took off in March to avoid drug charges, leaving the boys with Sherrod, who has other children in the home as well. Both have extensive criminal records.
The father has since recorded an emotional plea for justice for his son in which he attempts to “clarify” his absence, as CrimeOnline has reported.
Cash Gernon has been returned to his mother, who lives in Houston.
Brown is being held on a $1.5 million bond. His mother, meanwhile, believes her son has been set up.
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[Featured image: Cash Gernon and Darriynn Brown/Dallas Police Department]