BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — It’s been one year since law enforcement found the remains of Kamille “Cupcake” McKinney inside a dumpster in Jefferson County.
Friends, family and city leaders gathered at Tom Brown Village to remember Cupcake, as so many say she was a piece of the community taken away far too soon.
“I love you and I miss you like crazy,” Cupcake’s mother, April Thomas, said.
Purple and pink balloons filled the sky while everyone at Thursday’s vigil chanted two powerful words: “Never forget.”
Many at the vigil say this wasn’t only about Cupcake, but all of the other victims to this type of crime.
“What do you say to a father whose scream you remember when the news broke that his…that he can never see his baby girl again,” Mayor Randall Woodfin said.
“This is tough. This is tough. Never again.” City Council President William Parker stated.
Thomas says not a day goes by she doesn’t think about her daughter; missing the simple, every day things.
“Her at home arguing with her brother. Aggravating him. Just sitting on the couch, watching TV. Just all three of us. Me, my son and Cupcake,” Thomas said.
The community support meant a lot to Thomas but says the support she had from Jasmine Deloach, who helped with the search, was everything.
“To know there was someone who can relate to me and that I’m not the only one and there are other people out there that’s just like me,” Thomas said.
“I’ve been through this before and I want to help you get through because I know it’s hard,” Deloach said.
Thomas is still processing why this happened to her beloved daughter.
“I’m sorry that I let those people take her from us. I’m sorry I wasn’t there to protect her,” Thomas said.
She wants to continue honoring Cupcake’s memory and advises parents to always keep an eye on their children; never wishing the pain on anyone.
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