Birmingham, Ala., police announced Thursday that two suspects have been charged with capital murder in the high-profile killing of 3-year-old Kamille “Cupcake” McKinney. Patrick Devone Stallworth, 39, and his girlfriend, Derick Irisha Brown, 29, were persons of interest in the case shortly after Kamille went missing from a birthday party on Oct.12.
As Alabama.com reports, investigators spoke to Stallworth and Brown in the days following Kamille’s disappearance. Children who were at the birthday party Kamille attended said they saw a man get out of an SUV and put the toddler in the car. The suspected car—a Toyota Sequoia—was later linked to Stallworth:
Birmingham police spent the next day going door to door, handing out flyers with Kamille’s picture and released store surveillance photos from a nearby Shell station depicting a person of interest and the suspect vehicle – a Toyota Sequoia.
Just 24 hours after Kamille’s disappearance, residents at a Center Point condominium complex called 911 after finding the Toyota Sequoia parked outside. Stallworth and Brown were taken into custody as persons of interest. Stallworth was the man captured on store surveillance video, police said.
Two days later, Birmingham police charged Stallworth with seven crimes - possession of child pornography and possession with intent to distribute child pornography.
The charges came as a result of images on Stallworth’s phone during the police investigation into Kamille’s abduction (though no photos of Kamille were found). Stallworth was taken into custody on Oct. 13, but set free on a $500,000 bond with the help of six different people. Brown is still in the county jail.
Kamille’s body was found in a dumpster near Stallworth and Brown’s apartment complex on October 22. It’s unclear whether she was killed before or after Stallworth and Brown were taken in for questioning.
Police say they haven’t identified a connection between the two suspects and the McKinney family, nor do they have a motive. According to Alabama.com, Stallworth has “no significant prior criminal record” in the state, outside of two marijuana possession charges, one of which was dismissed.
Birmingham police chief Patrick Smith, speaking at a press conference on Wednesday, outlined what investigators knew so far.
“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,” he said, according to the New York Daily News. “Our further investigation will reveal whatever actions were taken after that.”