A woman accused of killing a 4-year-old Jefferson City boy knew where investigators found his body before they told her and admitted to hitting the boy, according to court documents.
Quatavia L. Givens, 26, of Jefferson City, initially told investigators that Darnell Gray had been abducted or had run away from her home in the 1100 block of Buena Vista Street, police wrote in a probable cause statement filed in her case. But an autopsy found evidence of multiple blunt force trauma injuries and sharp force trauma injuries inflicted before Darnell died, the statement said. They later found his body in the area Givens had told them it would be, the statement said.
Givens, who has been identified by police as Darnell’s caregiver, was arrested Tuesday afternoon at the Jefferson City Police Department after an interview, JCPD Lt. David Williams said Wednesday. Williams said more arrests are possible in the case.
Darnell’s body was found Tuesday in the 2100 block of Louis Circle concealed in a wooded area, the statement said. During an interview Givens told police “I may have hit him wrong,” according to the statement.
Givens was in the Cole County Jail without bond and was charged Wednesday afternoon with child abuse resulting in death. In the probable cause statement, investigators wrote that Givens said she was planning to go to Florida to get out of the area.
Givens was the main source of information for the massive search for Darnell, Williams said.
Williams said Wednesday afternoon that more arrests are possible.
“We now know that there was some assistance with him going missing,” Williams said Wednesday afternoon. “He did not walk out that door by himself.”
Williams said a criminal investigation started from the point when Darnell was reported missing from Givens home in the 1100 block of Buena Vista Street. Givens made that report, Williams said. Early in the search for Darnell, police said he was believed to have packed snacks and drinks and walked away from home.
Williams stopped short of characterizing Givens’ actions as misleading investigators.
“Inconsistencies would be more accurate,” Williams said. “When you interview someone and you go back and interview them again, there’s always cues investigators need to pick up on that they need to follow up with. It could be something as simple as the clothing description. It could be something as simple as the time.”
Williams said others close to Darnell also gave inconsistent statements.
Child abuse is a Class A felony in Missouri when the child dies. Such felonies are punishable with 10 to 30 years or life in prison.
“Foul play was never suspected until we found Darnell, and now it’s an investigation into his death,” Williams said in response to a reporter’s question during a news conference Tuesday where police announced his death. “We do know that he is deceased and that it was not by his own accord.”
Hearing information in Givens’ case was not available Wednesday afternoon.
Look for more on this developing story.