Police in Alabama believe remains found in a dumpster are those of a missing 3-year-old girl who vanished from a birthday party and sparked an intense 10-day search.
The body of Kamille McKinney, known as “Cupcake,” was found in a dumpster at a landfill, Birmingham Police Chief Patrick Smith announced Tuesday. Kamille was last seen at an outdoor birthday party on Oct. 12 at the Tom Brown Village public housing complex.
“I hope that this message is not lost to young mothers, to grandmothers, and to the entire Birmingham community: it only takes a split second,” Smith said. “We can no longer assume that everyone is part of the village that is trying to raise the child.”
Suspects Derick Brown and Patrick Stallworth were taken into custody and police are seeking warrants for capital murder and kidnapping charges.
Video released last week showed two small children, one of them Kamille McKinney, playing at the housing complex before two men walk past them, one of the men appearing to stop and talk to the children. Birmingham police said Friday they were working to identify the men as persons of interest.
“It’s the second male that comes up and engages the children. And so the first male who walks by in this video, he may have pertinent information that will help us,” Smith said on Friday.
Smith said Tuesday that the two suspects in custody were not connected to Kamille’s family and that the men likely saw the moment as an opportunity to take a young child.
Birmingham Mayor Randall Woodfin said Tuesday that the entire city is mourning the loss of Kamille. Woodfin added that pain felt by Kamille’s family is “unimaginable” and their pain would not be ignored.
“As chief has said, and I think I need to make this point, the perpetrator of this crime will be brought to justice and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law,” Woodfin said.
“But tonight — right now at this moment that we’re standing in — I ask one thing of this community: not to take sides,” the mayor added. “Not to finger point. But if there is any finger-pointing, its to the suspect who would kidnap a 3-year-old. I ask every member of community to stand in solidarity beside this broken family.”
Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey wrote in a tweet late Tuesday that her prayers were with Kamille’s family and everyone who has been touched by her tragic death.
“The heart of our state is broken, but our resolve must be to do everything we can to avoid this tragedy from happening to another family,” Ivey wrote.