Two people have been charged with capital murder in the death of a 3-year-old Alabama girl whose body was found in a dumpster.
The remains of 3-year-old Kamille "Cupcake" McKinney were discovered Tuesday in a landfill not far from the public housing community where the little girl was abducted. She was playing with other children at an outdoor birthday in the Birmingham neighborhood of Avondale on Oct. 12 when she vanished.
Her cause and time of death have not yet been determined.
Patrick Stallworth, 39, and Derick Irisha Brown, 29, have been charged with capital murder of a victim less than 14 years of age, prosecutors said Thursday. They are being held without bond, prosecutors said.
"We believe that this was something they thought about and acted upon and they saw an opportunity to take a young child, and they did," Birmingham Police Chief Patrick Smith told reporters Tuesday. "I would like to thank the public for all of the information, all of the tips, all of the video and for their cooperation with this police department during the course of this investigation."
Prosecutors on Thursday did not elaborate on the case, but Stallworth and Brown were initially named persons of interest in Kamille's disappearance. They were both arrested last week on unrelated charges. Stallworth was arrested on child porn charges and Brown was jailed for violating probation conditions on a previous kidnapping charge.
Hundreds of people gathered to honor the life of the young child at a candlelight vigil outside Birmingham City Hall on Wednesday.
"A little, innocent, 3-year-old girl was ripped from her family too soon and her absence, make no doubt about it, will leave a hole in our hearts,'' Birmingham Mayor Randall Woodfin told the crowd. “Kamille McKinney, affectionately known as Cupcake, we will never forget her name.”
The mayor was joined at the vigil by Birmingham's police chief, who said he believed Kamille had "changed this city."
"She made us stop and check ourselves," Smith said. "Check ourselves to see if we’re doing everything we can to keep our children safe from harm. Check ourselves to see if we’re truly the village that we promise to be. Check ourselves to see if we’re living up to the expectations of tomorrow and watching over our children today."
“Ten days ago, I feel we were a very different city," he continued. "Maybe we were a little bit too carefree, maybe there’s more that we could have done to watch over this little child. But today we’ve come face to face with the hurt, the pain and the loss of a beautiful little spirit. Let us not take the moment for granted."