A neighbor of Cash Gernon’s says he saw Darriynn Brown trying to break into cars in his driveway a month before the 4-year-old was killed and says if law enforcement had acted on his tip Cash might still be alive.
Footage from a home surveillance camera five minutes from where Cash lived in Dallas shows a man fitting 18-year-old Brown’s description trying to open car doors on April 19.
Other neighbors said they reported Brown to police ‘several times’ but there was no follow-up from police.
On May 15, Cash was snatched from the bed he shared with how twin brother Carter in their home. Brown, who had been watching the home and the boys for weeks, stabbed Cash repeatedly to death and dumped his body in a nearby street.
The neighbor said he also captured a clearer photo of Brown as he was trying to break a home surveillance camera.
‘How do we make sure that this doesn’t happen again?’ the neighbor told WFAA-TV after told a public meeting of community leaders and police in the Texas city Monday.
‘We called a month ago, and now a child’s dead.’
The neighbor said he had picked Brown out of a lineup after seeing news reports of his arrest in connection to Cash’s death.
Brown has been charged with kidnapping and theft in relation to Cash’s death.
Police are waiting for the return of forensic evidence to decide whether to charge him with murder.
A neighbor of slain 4-year-old Cash Gernon says he captured Darriynn Brown on surveillance footage trying to break into cars in his driveway a month before the boy was killed
The neighbor and others who say they saw a man matching Brown’s description to police ‘several times’ but there was no follow-up. In the image above, Brown is seen casing the Gernon home weeks before his death
Brown, 18, (left) was arrested on May 16 and charged with the kidnapping Cash (right) – who was found dead in a Dallas street the day before
Brown was arrested on May 16 and charged with the kidnapping Cash – who was found dead in a Dallas street the day before.
Police said Cash had been snatched from the home of his father’s ex-girlfriend Monica Sherrod in the early hours of May 15 before he was left bleeding out on a sidewalk.
The gruesome slaying shocked the neighborhood in southwest Dallas where police asked residents to submit any home surveillance video to help the investigation. Brown is currently being held on charges of kidnapping and theft, with allegations against him likely to be upgraded.
When neighbor Jose Alvarado checked his Ring doorbell camera for any clues in the case he found something shocking: Video which appeared to show Brown lurking around his fence – which butts up against Sherrod’s – about 10 weeks before the abduction.
In the video provided to the Daily Beast, Brown is seen opening the gate to Alvarado’s yard and peering in before quickly walking away.
‘It’s really scary,’ Alvarado told the outlet. ‘I have two kids, one girl and one boy, and they play basketball in the backyard.’
The video was recorded by the doorbell camera of neighbor Jose Alvarado about 10 weeks before Brown allegedly kidnapped Cash from his bed
Cash Gernon’s father has released a statement saying he has paid the ‘ultimate price’ for leaving his twin sons with his ex-girlfriend while he skipped town to avoid being arrested.
Trevor Gernon left four-year-old Cash and his brother Carter in the home of his ex-girlfriend Monica Sherwood in Dallas in March, a month after moving there in the hope of trying to find a job.
He fled Dallas for Houston after failing to find work, he said, ‘among other things’ like the fact he was due in court on felony drug charges on March 29 but failed to show up.
Trevor released his statement on his sister’s YouTube account on Sunday night.
It is the first time he has spoken since Cash was murdered. The video showed a montage of photos of him with the boys and he narrated it but did not physically appear.
‘I understand all of you have questions. I’d like to take a moment to address the public. I do not wish this nightmare on any parent.
Cash Gernon’s father Trevor released a video statement on Sunday night where he said he’d paid the ‘ultimate price’ for leaving his sons Cash and Carter in the home of his ex-girlfriend. Cash was snatched from the house and murdered on May 15. The YouTube video Trevor released was a compilation of photos of the boys which had a voiceover
TREVOR GERNON’S STATEMENT
Hello, my name is Trevor Gernon. I understand all of you have questions. I’d like to take a moment to address the public. I do not wish this nightmare on any parent
You have no idea how hard it has been for all of us to hold it together while everyone picks your family apart. Family turning on one another. All attention and time should be reserved for Cash. It’s comforting to know so many of you feel this loss too.
I knew Monica for a good few years before moving to the Dallas area. She was a single parent like me so naturally I would ask her advice on things. At the end of February, beginning of March, Monica offered her home which I was grateful for.
When I decided to move back to Houston after an unsuccessful job hunt, I thought it was in the boys’ best interest to not disrupt their routine. They were comfortable, around other kids and what it appeared, Monica was a trust worthy person.
This choice I made with best intentions has resulted in the most horrific outcome I have paid the ultimate and painful price for my poor judgment I have to live with this every day I will never forgive myself. This is a nightmare.
We just don’t understand how this could happen to such a bright and cheerful kid. I understand how Mindy and Connie could be upset and want to do and say things to me because he was in my care. If it had happened in my care, I’d hold her responsible too. Mindy, I am so sorry that I failed to keep him safe That was my job as a dad and I wasn’t able to do that.
‘You have no idea how hard it has been for all of us to hold it together while everyone picks your family apart,’ he said.
He then said he trusted Monica because she was also a single parent like him and that he left the boys with her because he didn’t want to ‘disrupt their routine’.
‘I knew Monica for a good few years before moving to the Dallas area. She was a single parent like me so naturally I would ask her advice on things. At the end of February, beginning of March, Monica offered her home which I was grateful for.
‘When I decided to move back to Houston after an unsuccessful job hunt, I thought it was in the boys’ best interest to not disrupt their routine. They were comfortable, around other kids and what it appeared, Monica was a trust worthy person.
‘This choice I made with best intentions has resulted in the most horrific outcome I have paid the ultimate and painful price for my poor judgment I have to live with this every day I will never forgive myself. This is a nightmare,’ he said.
He went on to apologize to the twins’ mother, Melinda Seagroves, for not keeping them both safe.
‘I understand how Mindy and Connie [Cash’s maternal grandmother] could be upset and want to do and say things to me because he was in my care.
‘If it had happened in my care, I’d hold her responsible too. Mindy, I am so sorry that I failed to keep him safe That was my job as a dad and I wasn’t able to do that.
‘I’m sorry,’ he said.
The video emerged days after Sherrod recounted to DailyMail.com the moment she realized Cash had been abducted from the room he shared with his twin brother Carter at her home.
Sherrod, 35, broke down in tears on Tuesday as she entered the boys’ bedroom for the first time since Cash’s death.
‘I haven’t touched a thing,’ the mother-of-four said in an emotional interview with DailyMail.com.
‘It’s exactly the same as when Cash was last in here. I haven’t been able to do this until now. It’s breaking my heart, but I know I have to confront this.’
Sherrod invited Dailymail.com inside the twins’ bedroom where their toys were still scattered across the floor and the small white toddler bed they shared remained unmade since they last slept together.
She looked around tearfully and was silent for a moment before saying: ‘I just couldn’t face this before, the pain is so deep.’
Sherrod revealed Cash and Carter were the sons of her ex-boyfriend, Trevor Gernon, 31, who moved into her house on the 7500 block of Florina Parkway, in February.
Monica Sherrod (pictured) relived the fateful morning four-year-old Cash was abducted from her home in Dallas, Texas in an exclusive interview with DailyMail.com
Sherrod invited DailyMail.com to join as she visit the boys’ bedroom for the first time since Cash was allegedly kidnapped by 18-year-old suspect Darriynn Brown on Saturday
Cash was seen being taken from his bed before daybreak at around 5am. He was found stabbed to death less than two hours later about a half-mile away on the 7500 block of Saddleridge Drive
She told DailyMail.com she began raising the boys as her own in March, when Gernon, who had custody of the kids, suddenly fled after getting into legal troubles and has not been heard from since.
In the wake of Cash’s death, Carter was said to have been reunited with his biological mother, Melinda Seagroves, who reportedly had been searching for her sons ‘for an extended amount of time.’
‘I loved those boys. They were not even my biological boys. I brought them into my home. I had made this room for them,’ Sherrod said.
Pointing, she added: ‘There was that little tortoise for them. We put a lot of toys in here. Cash slept at one end of the crib and Carter at the other.
‘This is a six-bedroom house and I put them together at the back of the house because I didn’t want them to be alone, I wanted them together.’
Sherrod also replayed the home surveillance video of the abduction on her phone which was revealed for the first time by Dailymail.com on Tuesday.
She wept silently as she stood on the spot where the horror unfolded and watched it happening on screen.
‘This is hard to do. He [Brown] took him at 4.58am. That’s the time that he took Cash. And he came back for Carter. I can’t really watch it.’
The chilling footage showed Brown creeping into the bedroom and snatching Cash, who had been sleeping peacefully next to his sibling.
He was seen returning to the room about two hours later – when Cash would have already been dead – to apparently try to abduct the other Carter, but eventually ended up fleeing.
The early morning abduction was captured on home surveillance cameras which Sherrod said she installed around the house because she was concerned about thefts in the neighborhood.
DailyMail.com joined her as she retraced Brown’s steps to show how he had forced his way into the house located in the Mountain Creek neighborhood of Dallas that fateful morning.
This is toddler bed where Cash and Carter slept head-to-foot. They began staying at Sherrod’s six-bedroom house full time in February when their father moved in
As she walked through the bedroom, Sherrod looked around tearfully and was silent for a moment before saying: ‘I just couldn’t face this before, the pain is so deep’
Inside, the toddlers’ toys were scattered across the floor and the small white toddler bed where Cash and Carter slept together for one last time was still unmade
Sherrod explained she decided to have the boys share a room rather than give them each their own, because she ‘didn’t want them to be alone’
The twins’ room was located in the rear of the house, away from where Sherrod and her other four children slept
TIMELINE OF CASH GERNON’S ABDUCTION
MAY 15, 2021
4:58am: Darriynn Brown breaks into the home on the 7500 block of Florina Parkway and snatches Cash while he’s sleeping next to his brother Carter
6:45am: Local resident Antwainese Square finds Cash stabbed to death and wearing nothing but a pair of shorts, on the 7500 block of Saddleridge Drive
7:30am: Darriynn Brown returns to the bedroom for Cash’s twin brother Carter
10:00am: Monica Sherrod wakes up to find Cash is missing
11:00am: Sherrod calls 911 to report the missing child
The Dallas Medical Examiner on Tuesday revealed Cash’s cause of death was multiple stab wounds
The back door leading to the garage remained damaged and broken Tuesday after the intruder had forced his way in after sneaking in through the unlocked garage.
He then made his way to the boys’ room, which is located in the back of the house, away from where Sherrod, her sons Matthew, 15, Landon, 14, and Kamron, 18, plus her daughter Emily, 16, sleep.
‘The kidnapper broke in through that door right there. The garage doesn’t latch,’ Sherrod explained. ‘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.’
Cash was seen being taken from his bed before daybreak at around 5am. He was found stabbed to death less than two hours later about a half-mile away on the 7500 block of Saddleridge Drive.
The Dallas Medical Examiner revealed Tuesday Cash’s cause of death was multiple stab wounds. Police earlier said the boy had been stabbed with an ‘edged weapon.’
Sherrod, who said she’s now become the target of an online hate campaign by people who blame her for Cash’s death, became emotional as she recalled watching his final moments on video.
‘It shows [Brown] taking the blanket off Cash and shows him snatching him and running with him while he is still asleep,’ she said.
‘He stares at him for a minute. I have watched it over and over again. I can’t watch it anymore.
‘I’m wondering why we didn’t hear him break in.’
Chillingly, other motion-tripped surveillance video also showed the abductor back in the house hours later, after Cash had already been killed. He was seen standing over Carter, but fled without the boy after apparently being spooked.
‘It’s on video. He came back a second time, at around 7:30am,’ Sherrod added. ‘He came back for Carter but was scared off by something. You can see him on the video running out, like he is startled.’
Sherrod revealed Brown, whom she described as an acquaintance of one of her sons, had visited the house two days earlier and interacted with Cash while she was out, which angered her at the time.
‘I told him don’t come back around my kids. I don’t want you,’ she said.
‘I was out grocery shopping when he was here. I’d left the twins with my boys and daughter. He was only here a short time. Emily said he creeped her out. I got upset with them.’
Sherrod said Cash and Carter had been living with her fulltime since Valentine’s Day, February 14, after Gernon, a construction worker, moved in with her. She continued to look after the twins after he suddenly took off.
The former couple had known each other for two years and met in their home city of Houston, with the twins regularly staying temporarily with her before moving in full time, she added.
Sherrod relived the fateful morning, saying: ‘The day that he was missing, I got up late and thought it was weird. I was like, it’s 10 o’clock already, you guys. So I figured Cash was still in bed.
Sherrod showed DailyMail.com around the house as she retraced Brown’s steps to show how he had broken into the home after sneaking in through the unlocked garage (pictured)
A garage door that leads to the house remained damaged and broken Tuesday after the intruder forced his way inside and then into the twins’ bedroom
The early morning abduction was captured on home surveillance cameras which Sherrod said she installed around the house because she was concerned about thefts in the neighborhood. Brown, 18, was seen creeping into the bedroom, staring at the brothers and looking around the room, before finally reaching down and carefully pulling back the boys’ blanket
‘Carter goes, ‘he went outside.’ So we believed Carter. I started screaming, ‘Cash, if you’re hiding from mommy it’s not funny anymore. Come out it’s time for breakfast.’ He wouldn’t answer.’
Sherrod said her sons began frantically searching the local area and yelling for Cash.
‘He wasn’t answering and I knew something was wrong. I called 911… they [asked] when did I notice he was gone. I said immediately when I got up, when Carter woke me up. I didn’t even think about the surveillance system.’
As reports came in of a body being found in a street less than half a mile away, Sherrod said she refused to believe it could be Cash.
‘I was crying and confused and in a million pieces and praying they would still find Cash and that that little boy wasn’t Cash,’ she said.
‘I kept telling my daughter, that’s not Cash. And she said, ‘mommy, it has to be.’
It was in a detective’s office that the security footage on Sherrod’s phone first revealed the horror.
‘My son Matthew was the last to be interviewed. He remembered all of a sudden, ‘mom has cameras.’
‘When you’re going through something like that… all you think about is your baby that’s missing. And when they said mom has cameras I rewinded the cameras and there he was, the boy, taking my son out of his bed.’
‘I freaked out. I was devastated. I started screaming. Because my daughter kept telling me, ‘Mom, somebody did this. Mom, somebody did this to our baby.’ And I’m like, no, no they didn’t. He’s going to be found.’
Sherrod (right) said she and Gernon (left) chad known each other for two years and met in their home city of Houston, with the twins regularly staying temporarily with her before moving in full time
She told DailyMail.com she doesn’t know where Gernon (pictured with the boys) is, saying: ‘I have tried reaching out but I’m getting no response’
Sherrod revealed her sons Matthew, 15, Landon, 14, and Kamron (pictured) 18, plus daughter Emily, 16, had been with her in the house when the kidnapper broke in
She continued through tears before collapsing in sobs: ‘And they did. They did do it. They took him. Why would they hurt him? He was four. He was like this big, he was so little. He wasn’t even the size of a four-year-old. He was so tiny.’
Sherrod paid a loving tribute to Cash, who she described as ‘so happy’.
She went on: ‘Cash was eager to learn. He wanted to learn his ABCs. When I got them they didn’t know anything, like their colors, they didn’t know letters by sight.
‘Cash was such a quick learner. We would do this schooling thing every day and he would say, OK mom I’m ready for school. He didn’t go to school here, we did it on the kitchen table.
‘He wanted to know how to read so bad. He would always say, what’s that say? And what’s that say? He loved books. And he wanted me to read the same book over again.
‘Cash was more outspoken than Carter. Cash was the leader. He was the one that showed Carter how to do everything. Cash was the one that was brave enough to follow through with everything.’
Sherrod, her parents Lezlee and Kurt Pinkerton, both 54, and her two elder sons paid a heart-rending visit on Monday to the spot where Cash was discovered by local resident Antwainese Square, 39, at around 6.45am on Saturday. They laid a large toy dinosaur at the makeshift shrine.
She said: ‘It was his favorite toy. He loved that toy. He had a bunch of cars and put them around the dinosaur and said look mom I made a monster truck.
‘I waited so many days to go to where Cash was found. That’s because everybody was bombarding me, and my baby just died. I have been receiving a lot of hate online. People are telling me it is my fault Cash died. I didn’t want to be publicized as a monster. I’m not. My kids are my life.’
A second clip revealed Brown returned to the scene after sunrise, around 7am, in an apparent attempt to abduct Cash’s twin, Carter
Carter later woke up to find his twin brother missing from his bed and can be seen searching for him
Cash had been staying at the home of his biological father’s ex-girlfriend Monica Sherrod (pictured)
Sherrod insisted Cash’s biological mother Melinda Seagroves had not been frantically searching for the twins, as reported.
‘She wasn’t. This last Christmas we begged her to even FaceTime the boys and she wouldn’t,’ she claimed.
‘She’s a trucker. She hadn’t properly seen the boys for two years. Trevor had custody of them. Now all of a sudden it is reported she and her mother were looking for them and they miss them because Cash passed away.
‘It is also reported that Carter is now back with her, which I don’t believe is true. I think he is in the custody of child services.
Dallas Police confirmed Carter was ‘reunited’ with Seagroves, however, it is unclear if he remains in her custody.
‘The biological mother, if you showed them a picture of her, they didn’t know who she was,’ Sherrod added.
‘They called me mommy. If someone said is Monica there, they would say no. I’d be like, that’s me, I’m Monica. They’d say, no you’re not, you’re mommy. I felt they need a mom, they needed stability.’
Sherrod also claimed Seagroves is banning her from attending Cash’s funeral.
‘I don’t understand why. I took care of them. She didn’t. She wasn’t there,’ she added.
‘The mother has said to Trevor’s mother that I can’t go to the funeral and they passed that on. It’s not right. I love Carter and I loved Cash.’
After Cash’s death, Carter was said to have been reunited with his biological mother Melinda Seagroves, who had reportedly been frantically trying to locate her sons, but Sherrod has disputed this
Monica Sherrod (pictured in blue) broke down in tears as she visited a makeshift memorial near where the toddler was found Tuesday
The twins’ father was also condemned by Sherrod who said: ‘He is a coward. His son passed away and he is letting us deal with all of this as if it’s our fault.’
She added: ‘I don’t know where Trevor is. I have tried reaching out but I’m getting no response.
‘He left because he had a warrant. He got busted with pills that he said weren’t his, before we got together.
‘He was supposed to turn himself in to go to rehab. And he was scared. Because they told him he had to go to jail until a bed opens up. And that’s all he could hear, jail. And I told him it’s OK. But he got spooked and left.’
However she added: ‘Trevor is actually a very good dad. This is a mishap for him. I don’t understand what’s going on in his life right now.’
Sherrod also said Child Protection Services have now ‘taken into care’ Landon and Matthew following Cash’s killing.
She said they also previously fostered along with Emily and Kamron.
Sherrod said: ‘I fought for four years straight to get them back and I did. I lived on the streets, I sold everything I had, I didn’t care. I was not going to stop fighting. And now I have to fight again. But I will. The CPS, they took my kids. This is not fair.’
Early morning walker Square, 39, told Dailymail.com how she found partially clothed Cash in the street, with ants crawling across his bare feet. He was only wearing a pair of shorts.
She said:’ At first I thought what I saw was a dog, but as I got closer I started noticing things, like a hand. And I just started screaming.’
Brown, who was wearing an ankle monitor for a prior offense, was arrested hours later and charged with kidnap and theft. He is expected to face additional charges pending the results of forensic tests. He remains behind bars in lieu of $1.5million bail.