Kamille McKinney went missing on October 12 from a birthday party she attended with her mother and other family members. Ten days later, investigators found the body of the 3-year-old, affectionately known as Cupcake, in a trash bin.
According to the Birmingham Police Chief Patrick Smith, the toddler’s remains were located in a trash bin that had been taken to a landfill, the Associated Press reports.
Chief Smith told reporters at a news conference Tuesday night (October 22) that police had been watching garbage deposits from a certain part of the city.
Police were obtaining murder warrants against two people previously identified as persons of interest in the case, Patrick Devone Stallworth, 39, and his 29-year-old girlfriend, Derrick Irisha Brown, Smith said, the AP reports.
“We believe this was something they thought about and acted upon,” Smith told reporters. “They saw an opportunity to take a young child, and they did.”
No potential motive has been revealed and lawyers for both of the accused have insisted they are innocent.
One day after Cupcake went missing, police located the vehicle suspected to be used in her abduction. They arrested Stallworth and Brown at the time on unrelated charges to the kidnapping of the little girl.
On October 15, Chief Smith said in a statement that child pornography was found on Stallworth’s cellphone. He was charged with four counts of possession of child pornography and three counts of possession with child pornography with intent to distribute and was held on a $500,000 bond, the AP reported.
Brown was also arrested at that time and was being held on a probation revocation with no bond for an unrelated kidnapping, Smith said at the time of their initial arrests.
However, the search for Cupcake continued as she was not found when Stallworth and Brown were arrested.
Police released a surveillance video that showed a man approaching Kamille, and they were hopeful that the video held clues to her disappearance that would lead them to her whereabouts.
The little girl vanished around 8:30 p.m. on Saturday evening (October 12) while attending a birthday party with her mother and other family members.
The search quickly expanded to include several national organizations that teamed up for the investigation.
When the video was released, it clearly showed Cupcake playing outside with another little girl at the Tom Brown Village public housing complex in Avondale, Alabama, where the birthday party was being held.
One man could be seen approaching the little girls but walked past them. A second man approached them shortly after the first and stopped for a moment before he too continued walking. The two little girls appeared to follow the second man.
The second little girl’s identity was not released. Cupcake vanished and her shoes were found in the parking lot, so police believed she was barefoot.
A $6,000 reward was offered for information that could lead to finding the little girl.
“We’re hoping that the reward would give someone the courage or would motivate someone to come forward,” District Attorney Danny Carr said during a news conference on Tuesday (October 15). “Our goal is to find Kamille and bring her back home.”
Sadly, she was found dead, and investigators were unclear on how long she had been deceased.
Mayor Randall Woodfin said the little girl’s parents were experiencing “unimaginable” pain, the AP reports.
“This is a tough moment for our city, a tough moment for the family,” he said.
“The heart of our state is broken…,” Gov. Kay Ivey said in a statement Tuesday night (October 22), offering condolences to Kamille’s family. “Our prayers remain with Kamille’s family and all who have been touched by this nightmare.”