4-year-old Darnell Gray found dead in Jefferson City

1 year 1 month 2 weeks ago Tuesday, October 30 2018 Oct 30, 2018 Tuesday, October 30, 2018 3:52:00 PM CDT October 30, 2018 in News
By: Emily Hannemann, KOMU 8 Digital Producer, Elise Brisco, KOMU 8 Reporter, Nikki Ogle, KOMU 8 Reporter, Courtney Edwards, KOMU 8 Reporter
loading

JEFFERSON CITY - The investigation into the cause of 4-year-old Darnell Gray's death continues after the search for him reached a tragic end.

He was found on Tuesday around noon in Jefferson City, in an area that had been identified but not previously searched, according to Jefferson City Police Lt. David Williams.

“Foul play was not suspected until we found Darnell’s body,” Williams said.

He said the way Darnell died was "not of his own accord," but did not announce a cause of death.

Mourners gathered Tuesday evening at Washington Park, holding hands and offering prayers for Gray.

Community pastors took turns sharing words to uplift the community at the vigil.

Non-profit organization Missouri Missing put the vigil together after hearing the news of Darnell's death and announced it on Facebook two hours ahead of time. 

"We heard the sad news and we need to honor him," Missouri Missing co-founder Marianne Asher-Chapman said. "And the support from this community is just incredible." 

Asher-Chapman started Missouri Missing after her daughter went missing almost 15 years ago. She said the way Darnell was found was unfortunate but it is a good thing he was found for the family's closure. 

"My heart is just broken for this baby, but he got a lot of love here tonight--a lot of love," Asher-Chapman said. 

Jefferson City Mayor Carrie Tergin tweeted, "Beyond sad that our community has lost a precious little boy Darnell who is now a sweet Angel. Prayers.

One volunteer, Marie Schoults, attended the vigil and said during the week she and her own children joined the search for Darnell.

"You hear about it other towns and you just don't think that's it's going to happen in your town," said Schoults.

She said she can't imagine what the family is going through after hearing the news about Darnell.

"It's hard knowing that a four-year-old boy is gone before his life began. That is hard to take," said Schoults.

Darnell had been reported missing since last Thursday morning, and his caregiver said she last saw him Wednesday between 11 p.m. and midnight.

Williams thanked those involved in the search, which included the FBI, multiple police departments, the Missouri State Highway Patrol, fire departments, emergency services and volunteers.

No arrests have currently been made in connection with the death investigation, but Williams did say that “at this point, there is no one that we are not looking at through our process.”

Williams said he notified Darnell’s mother himself, and that other family members of Darnell’s were upset by the boy's death.

“If they were not upset,” Williams said, “then they need to look at themselves in the mirror.”

More News

Grid
List
COLUMBIA — The City of Columbia Public Works plans to have a 24-person crew begin monitoring road conditions and treating... More >>
1 hour ago Saturday, December 14 2019 Dec 14, 2019 Saturday, December 14, 2019 7:48:00 PM CST December 14, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA — Police are investigating after an ATM was stolen from the Great Southern Bank on 3200 South Providence Saturday... More >>
4 hours ago Saturday, December 14 2019 Dec 14, 2019 Saturday, December 14, 2019 5:22:00 PM CST December 14, 2019 in News
MID-MISSOURI - A winter storm is expected to bring snow and ice accumulation to Missouri followed by frigid temperatures. This... More >>
4 hours ago Saturday, December 14 2019 Dec 14, 2019 Saturday, December 14, 2019 4:50:00 PM CST December 14, 2019 in Weather
COOPER COUNTY, BLACKWATER — A small community in Mid-Missouri is attempting to spread holiday cheer within a few miles of... More >>
6 hours ago Saturday, December 14 2019 Dec 14, 2019 Saturday, December 14, 2019 3:30:00 PM CST December 14, 2019 in News
HOLTS SUMMIT - With temperatures around 30 degrees on Saturday, the cold weather did not stop Holts Summit residents from... More >>
6 hours ago Saturday, December 14 2019 Dec 14, 2019 Saturday, December 14, 2019 2:47:00 PM CST December 14, 2019 in News
JEFFERSON CITY — Missouri Department of Transportation crews are preparing for an expected winter storm this weekend. In a press... More >>
7 hours ago Saturday, December 14 2019 Dec 14, 2019 Saturday, December 14, 2019 2:34:00 PM CST December 14, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA — St. Louis officials have voted to ban local veterinarians from declawing cats. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports... More >>
7 hours ago Saturday, December 14 2019 Dec 14, 2019 Saturday, December 14, 2019 2:21:00 PM CST December 14, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA — Chatbots could soon be answering more questions from Missourians about their taxes or welfare. The St. Louis... More >>
7 hours ago Saturday, December 14 2019 Dec 14, 2019 Saturday, December 14, 2019 2:15:00 PM CST December 14, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - Two people were injured Friday night after an assault and shots fired incident in north Columbia, according to... More >>
10 hours ago Saturday, December 14 2019 Dec 14, 2019 Saturday, December 14, 2019 11:14:00 AM CST December 14, 2019 in Top Stories
COLUMBIA - The Boone County Sheriff's Department completed a week-long training program on Friday, cumulating with a role-playing exercise to... More >>
1 day ago Friday, December 13 2019 Dec 13, 2019 Friday, December 13, 2019 5:05:00 PM CST December 13, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - The Columbia Fire Department has a new chief. City Manager John Glascock says Andy Woody will be taking... More >>
1 day ago Friday, December 13 2019 Dec 13, 2019 Friday, December 13, 2019 3:50:00 PM CST December 13, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA - Former Missouri football coach Barry Odom is heading to Arkansas. New Arkansas head coach Sam Pittman confirmed... More >>
1 day ago Friday, December 13 2019 Dec 13, 2019 Friday, December 13, 2019 3:19:00 PM CST December 13, 2019 in News
COLUMBIA – Columbia psychologist, Kurt Bumby, 50, is charged with two counts of statutory sodomy in Boone County and two... More >>
1 day ago Friday, December 13 2019 Dec 13, 2019 Friday, December 13, 2019 3:18:00 PM CST December 13, 2019 in News
FULTON - Although legally blind, Fulton Special Olympics tennis player Jesse competes with enthusiasm in a high demanding sport for... More >>
1 day ago Friday, December 13 2019 Dec 13, 2019 Friday, December 13, 2019 2:21:00 PM CST December 13, 2019 in News
JEFFERSON CITY - A proposed plan to expand the Jefferson City National Cemetery across the street and move a park... More >>
1 day ago Friday, December 13 2019 Dec 13, 2019 Friday, December 13, 2019 2:15:00 PM CST December 13, 2019 in News
BOONVILLE - Shovels and salt will likely be in higher demand at local hardware stores after a forecasted weekend snow... More >>
1 day ago Friday, December 13 2019 Dec 13, 2019 Friday, December 13, 2019 12:55:00 PM CST December 13, 2019 in News
WENTZVILLE, Mo. (AP) — General Motors plans to invest $1.5 billion in truck production at a suburban St. Louis plant.... More >>
1 day ago Friday, December 13 2019 Dec 13, 2019 Friday, December 13, 2019 12:24:00 PM CST December 13, 2019 in News
CAMDEN COUNTY- A 71-year-old woman was killed last night after her car struck a tree, according to the Missouri State... More >>
1 day ago Friday, December 13 2019 Dec 13, 2019 Friday, December 13, 2019 11:35:00 AM CST December 13, 2019 in News
Columbia, MO
Broken Clouds 27°
10pm 28°
11pm 27°
12am 27°
1am 27°