Oct. 23 (UPI) — Alabama police said Tuesday investigators found remains in a Dumpster believed to be those of a missing 3-year-old girl whose abduction from a birthday party 10 days ago ignited a massive search through Birmingham.
Birmingham Police Chief Patrick Smith said during an evening press conference that investigators found the remains, believed to be those of Kamille “Cupcake” McKinney, in a city landfill.
McKinney was last seen Oct. 12 at around 8:30 p.m. in a pink and leopard print t-shirt and matching shorts in attendance at a birthday party. Witnesses said McKinney left the party with a woman in a dark Toyota sports utility vehicle.
“I hope this message is not lost,” Smith said. “I hope this message is not lost to young mothers, to grandmothers and to the entire Birmingham community: It only takes a split second. We can no longer assume that everyone is part of the village that is trying to raise the child. We cannot take those things for granted.”
Smith said Patrick Devone Stallworth, 39, and Derrick Irisha Brown, 29, have been taken into custody and will be charged Wednesday with kidnapping and capital murder.
The two suspects were arrested Oct. 18 on unrelated charges but were considered “persons of interest” in McKinney’s disappearance, police said in a press release.
Stallworth was charged with seven counts of child pornography and Brown was on probation for kidnapping.
“We must work incredibly hard to do more to save the children of this community,” Smith said. “This young child has touched a nation, this young child has definitely sent a message across the nation that we all must be diligent to protect them all.”
On Oct. 18, police announced that it would accept community volunteers to aid in a grid search for McKinney.
Birmingham Mayor Randall Woodfin said the city was in mourning, and those responsible will be held to the full extent of the law.
“The perpetrators of this crime will be brought to justice and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law, but tonight, right now, at this moment that we’re standing in, I ask one thing of this community: not to take sides, not to finger point but if there’s any finger-pointing to do it is only at the perpetrator… I ask every member of this community to stand in solidarity with this broken family,” he said.