Neighbor: "Why would someone do something like this to a 4-year-old child?"
JEFFERSON CITY – A woman who lives near the home of Darnell Gray said people in her community cannot believe what happened to the little boy.
"Why would someone do something like this to a 4-year-old child," Debbie Kuhn said. "I don’t think that there's anything that a 4-year-old child could do to make you want have to physically hurt him, possibly kill him."
Kuhn spoke after Darnell's caregiver was arrested and charged with child abuse resulting in death.
Kuhn lives about a block away from Darnell's house. She has custody of two of her 16 grandchildren, who are 3 and 6 years old.
"It's been very heartbreaking as I can imagine my own grandchild or child being out there, cold, hungry, never know what happened," she said. "It's very traumatizing."
Kuhn was part of the search for the missing child for two days. She said, after Gray’s death, her community would never be the same.
"They really went out, above and beyond, to find Darnell," she said. "I mean, there were hundreds of them, looking for a 4-year-old, so the community did a lot, along with law enforcement."
Kuhn said what happened to Gray is a reminder for parents and guardians to keep a closer eye on their children.
"You never think it could happen to you but it's right here, within a half a block from where I live. It's has happened, it could have been one of mine," she said.
Community members are organizing a vigil for Saturday, the day Darnell would have turned 5. It will take place at Washington Park. Organizers are asking people to bring gifts that will be given to Darnell's brother.