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'I May Have Hit Him Wrong:' Caregiver Eyed In Missing Toddler's Death In Missouri
"I trusted her to watch him. But I wasn't expecting her to do this to him," the boy's father Kijuanis Gray said after his body was found.
A missing 4-year-old boy from Missouri has been found dead, and now police are accusing his caregiver of being the person responsible for his death.
The body of Darnell Gray was found concealed in a wooded area of Jefferson City on Tuesday morning. Now, Quatavia Givens — who was both the child's caretaker and the ex-girlfriend of father Kijuanis Gray — is facing a charge of first-degree child abuse resulting in a death, according to WLS-TV in Chicago, where the boy was originally from.
Darnell went missing on Oct. 25. Initially, Jefferson City Police Captain Deric Heislen told the Kansas City Star that he didn’t think that his disappearance was a parental abduction; Gray’s dad was at work when an acquaintance reported him missing, and his backpack, some cookies and juice boxes were also gone. It’s unclear if that acquaintance was Givens.
Givens allegedly told police, "I may have hit him wrong," according to a probable cause statement cited by KOMU 8 in Columbia, Missouri, which also reports that she identified herself as the boy’s mother figure.
An autopsy has revealed that Darnell suffered injuries caused by both blunt force trauma and sharp force trauma to multiple locations of his body before he died, according to KOMU 8.
She was being held in Cole County Jail without bond, and it’s unclear if she has an attorney who can speak on her behalf at this time.
Gray, meanwhile, told WLS-TV that his son loved to play basketball, be goofy and smile. He said he was in Chicago visiting his sick mother when he asked Givens to watch his son.
"I trusted her to watch him. But I wasn't expecting her to do this to him.”
[Photo: National Center for Missing and Exploited Children]