BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — The Latest on the kidnapping of 3-year-old Kamille “Cupcake” McKinney (all times local):
10/23 – 4:00 p.m. Birmingham City and Mayor Woodfin hold a vigil for Cupcake and her family
Birmingham city council members are expressing their heartbreak that Kamille “Cupcake” McKinney will not be returning home.
In an exclusive interview with CBS 42, council members Hunter Williams, William Parker and Steven Hoyt spoke with anchor Sherri Jackson about the heartbreaking loss of McKinney. Williams, who represents the city’s District 2 and head the city’s public safety committee, said it was a heartbreaking situation.
“I think the entire city of Birmingham has been living on the cusp of hope and fear, hoping that Kamille can be brought up safely and having that horrible feeling in your gut that the worst news, which is unfortunately what we are talking about tonight, could happen,” Williams said.
Councilman Steven Hoyt of District 8 said he understands the pain McKinney’s family is going through.
“It’s hard for me being the father of an only child and to imagine that that would happen to your child,” Hoyt said. “There are no words.”
Councilman William Parker, whose District 4 includes Tom Brown Village where McKinney was abducted, said that to create safe places for the city’s children, there will have to be a difficult decision between the city and the community.
“It has to be an all-hands-on-deck approach to this,” Parker said.
Starting a press conference Tuesday night, Birmingham Police Chief Patrick Smith said he wished he had good news to share about the whereabouts of Kamille “Cupcake” McKinney.
“It happens to not be that type of press conference,” Smith said,
Smith said that during the course of the investigation, the remains of a 3-year-old girl were found inside a dumpster near the Center Point condominium, where suspects Patrick Stallworth and Derick Brown were arrested days after her disappearance.
The remains were recovered inside of a landfill in Jefferson County, where law enforcement had been going through 12 tons of garbage in the surrounding area over the last few days.
“We found the remains of a child that we believe to be Kamille,” Smith said.
Smith said kidnapping and capital murder charges would be placed against Derick Brown and Patrick Stallworth. Stallworth, who had been previously out on bond for child pornography charges in an unrelated case, was arrested tonight.
“Locating the remains were the last pieces of the puzzle that we needed to bring the capital murder charges and the kidnapping charges, which we will seek tomorrow,” Smith said.
Smith thanked the FBI, law enforcement agencies and many volunteers who exhaustively searched for McKinney. However, Smith said the message should not be lost that it “only takes a split second.”
“We can no longer assume that everyone is a part of the village that’s trying to raise the child,” Smith said. “We cannot take those things for granted. We must work incredibly hard to do more to save the children in this community. This young child has touched a nation. This child has definitely sent a message across the nation that we all must be diligent to protect them all.”
Birmingham Mayor Randall Woodfin asked every resident in Birmingham to stand in solidarity for McKinney’s family.
“More than ever, this family needs us all,” Woodfin said. “So tonight, we mourn as one.”
Woodfin also took the time to speak to Kamille “Cupcake” McKinney’s family.
“To the family of Kamille, I speak on behalf of all the residents and the city and that we know that your pain, your grief, your tears, your anger, your sadness, your many questions and your pain are not ignored,” Woodfin said.
Woodfin encouraged the community to keep McKinney’s family in their thoughts and prayers.
Taking questions from the media, Smith spoke about potential motive in McKinney’s abduction.
“I can tell you what we believe at this point,” he said. “We believe that this was something that they thought about and acted upon and they saw an opportunity to take a young child, which they did. Our further investigation will reveal whatever actions were taken after that.”
Smith said that from law enforcement has been able to tell, there is no connection between the suspects and McKinney’s family.
Gov. Kay Ivey tweeted her condolences to Kamille’s family.
“Our prayers are with Kamille’s family and all who have been touched by this nightmare,” the tweet read.
Ivey subsequently released the following statement:
“Given the tragic news that is breaking this evening, I offer my heartfelt condolences to Kamille’s family. I offer profound thanks to law enforcement and to all the volunteers who have worked tirelessly in search of this precious little girl. The heart of our state is broken, but we must do all we can to avoid this happening to another family. Our prayers remain with Kamille’s family and all who have been touched by this nightmare.”
Rep. Terri Sewell also sent out her condolences via Twitter.
“Our heart aches for the family of Kamille ‘Cupcake’ McKinney whose precious life is mourned by our entire community,” Sewell wrote. “May we pray that justice is served.”
Heisman winner and former Alabama football player Derrick Henry expressed condolences.
Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall also had words about McKinney:
BPD holds press conference
The Birmingham Police Department is holding a press conference in the Kamille “Cupcake” McKinney kidnapping case at 8 p.m. at BPD headquarters.
Mayor Woodfin pleads for public to find Cupcake
After the Birmingham City Council meeting, Mayor Randall Woodfin addressed the public about the necessity of finding Kamille “Cupcake” McKinney.
I spoke to a group of women this morning and truthfully what I share with them I share with you. To be a mother, to be an aunt, a grandmother, to be a niece, I can’t imagine that being my daughter. So it’s tough for Kamille’s mother and father. It’s tough for her grandparents, all of the who I have met. To see the look on their face, to see the hurt in their heart the genuine concern for where their grandchild is.
That family does not bear that alone. I think what I have seen in the last 9 days in Birmingham is the overwhelming grief and all of us being tuned in to Kamille’s whereabouts.
Collectively we’re all concerned about where she is. If you have any information call Birmingham Police Department, call CrimeStoppers.
Prayer goes out to Kamille’s family and her return, finding where she is. We need people or the person, whoever has the information, to please come forward.Mayor Woodfin
Anyone with information related to Kamille “Cupcake” McKinney’s kidnapping is urged to contact Birmingham Police at (205) 297-8413. Tips may also be directed to Crime Stoppers at (205) 254-7777. Those wishing to contribute to Crime Stoppers’ reward may donate by calling (205) 224-5003.
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