4-year-old boy found dead after he went missing a week ago; police charge dad's ex-girlfriend

The ex-girlfriend and caretaker, Quatavia Givens, has been charged with first-degree child abuse resulting in death.


                            4-year-old boy found dead after he went missing a week ago; police charge dad's ex-girlfriend

The search for 4-year-old missing Missouri boy Darnell Gray was called off last week after Jefferson City Police Lt. David Williams announced that his body was found by a search party shortly before noon on October 30th. At the time, it was speculated that he did not die of "his own accord" and now, the woman who is the ex-girlfriend to the 4-year-old's father and was taking care of him the night of his disappearance has been charged in his death.

According to a police news release, Darnell was reported missing in the early hours of October 25, with it being believed that the boy had wandered off from his home the night before. His mother, whose name had not been made public, had made a plea to anyone with information concerning her son to come forward.

Darnell was due to turn five-years-old the day his body was found (Source: Jefferson City Police)
Darnell was due to turn five-years-old the day his body was found (Source: Jefferson City Police)

The accused, Quatiavia Givens, had told the police that she had noticed Darnell was missing from his bedroom on the night of October 24 while his father was at work. After his body was discovered, it was sent for an autopsy, with the Federal Bureau of Investigation's evidence team assisting in the case. 

While it is still too early to determine the cause of death, an autopsy showed that there were "multiple injuries caused by blunt force trauma and sharp force trauma to multiple locations of the body inflicted prior to death." People reports that Givens was arrested after the authorities found Darnell's body on Tuesday morning and that she has been charged with first-degree child abuse resulting in death in the incident. 

Kijuanis Gray, the boy's father, told ABC 7 Chicago that his son was due to turn five-years-old on the day his body was found. Reminiscing about Darnell, he said, "He liked to smile, he liked to be goofy. He loved to run around with me. He loved to play basketball. It's a lot."

Givens has been charged with first-degree child abuse resulting in death (Source: Jefferson City Police)
Givens has been charged with first-degree child abuse resulting in death (Source: Jefferson City Police)

The father also revealed that he's separated from Darnell's mother, who lives in Chicago, and that he moved to Missouri for a "better life." He subsequently brought the 4-year-old to Missouri six months ago and had entrusted Givens, his then-girlfriend, to watch Darnell while he paid a visit to his sick mother. "I trusted her to watch him. But I wasn't expecting her to do this to him," he said. "That's my only child that I had, my only child," he lamented.

Both Kijuanis and Darnell's mother are said to be in Missouri cooperating with the concerned authorities in the investigation. Givens is currently incarcerated at the Cole County Jail, according to official records. It is unclear if she's being represented by an attorney or if she has entered a plea.