BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - A lot has happened this week as police search for a missing 3-year-old Birmingham girl, but authorities have not located Kamille McKinney.
Kamille McKinney, nicknamed “Cupcake,” was last seen around 8:30 p.m. Saturday wearing a pink T-shirt with leopard-print design and leopard-print shorts with no shoes. (Source: Family/WBRC)
The story of Kamille’s abduction Saturday night has been spread nationwide as police continue searching for the girl nicknamed “Cupcake.”
Kamille was last seen around 8:30 p.m. Saturday. Officers say she was kidnapped from the front yard of a residence in Tom Brown Village during a birthday party. She was last seen wearing a pink t-shirt with leopard-print design and leopard-print shorts with no shoes.
Here’s what we know involving the search for Kamille McKinney.
BPD release surveillance video showing suspect and person of interest
Birmingham police released a video Friday morning that includes a suspect and a person of interest in the kidnapping of Kamille McKinney.
Police Chief Patrick Smith says the suspect has been identified as the second adult in the video, but police are asking for the public’s assistance with identifying the person of interest (the first adult in the video).
Chief Smith says police believe one of the children is Kamille McKinney. The second child will not be identified. He says Kamille was kidnapped in the area the video was captured.
You can view the video, and Friday's full press conference, at the top of this story.
Chief Smith said officers and BPD personnel will take part in a grid search Sunday. The search will be where the person of interest frequented.
Two persons of interest were arrested on unrelated charges Tuesday; Man bonds out of jail Thursday
According to authorities, detectives interviewed two persons of interest in relation to Kamille’s disappearance. Investigators were unable to gather information on Kamille’s location, but there was enough evidence to charge the two on unrelated counts Tuesday.
The Jefferson County District Attorney’s Office charged 39-year-old Patrick Devone Stallworth with four counts of Possession of Obscene Material of Persons Under 17 years of Age. He was also charged with three counts of Possession with Intent to Disseminate Obscene Material.
Stallworth’s bond of $500,000 was paid Thursday and he was released.
Derick Irisha Brown, 29, had her probation revoked. She is currently being held without bond.
Stallworth and Brown were taken into custody Sunday believed to be connected to the kidnapping. Birmingham officers reported on Sunday they were looking for a black male and white female believed to be in the vehicle that took Kamille. During their investigation, police connected Stallworth and Brown to the vehicle.
The vehicle was described as a dark-colored SUV, believed to be an older model (2001-2006) Toyota Sequoia with beige trim. Police said the vehicle drove up and a woman grabbed Kamille. The vehicle described above and pictured below was towed and impounded for investigation.
Tip on Wednesday leads to hours-long search at Birmingham apartment complex
Birmingham police received a tip Wednesday morning that Kamille had been spotted an apartment complex in the 2700 block of Jefferson Ave. in Birmingham. Authorities spent more than three hours searching apartments but ultimately did not locate Kamille.
Community and police continue to search
Birmingham police conducted a routine sweep of Tom Brown Village Thursday as they continue to look for Cupcake and clues surrounding her disappearance.
Chief Patrick Smith said this week, they have also continued to receive numerous tips from the public.
“Some of them are really credible tips and actionable items. And then there are some that we have to go through to weigh against other evidence to make a determination if they are actually valid,” said Smith.
In addition, community members were fanning out and searching as well on Thursday. One woman says she is a neighbor of cupcake and her family. Her children often play with the 3-year-old. She shares in the anguish of her mother.
“I felt her pain that night. I prayed that night. Because it could have been my child or anybody else’s child. And the Lord put it on my heart to tell me, we going to find your baby. We going to find your baby,” said Maliko Hawkins.
A message for whoever has Kamille
During a press conference Wednesday, Birmingham Police Chief Patrick Smith said that they want whoever has Kamille to think “safe passage.”
Smith encouraged the person to drop her off at a hospital, police station, or firehouse.
Fire officials tell us most fire stations across the country are considered safe places for children.
If Kamille was dropped off at one of their stations, they have strict guidelines to follow.
“Our employees will accept the child. Start to render any care if needed. Notify law enforcement, and our employees have been advised not to question, try to ascertain who the person is or start any type of investigation,” said Battalion Chief Sebastian Carrillo.
There has been $25,000 in rewards issued
Authorities said $25,000 has been issued throughout the week. These rewards vary from an arrest to a conviction of the kidnappers, depending on the agency,
On Monday, Gov. Kay Ivey also announced they are finalizing plans to offer a $5,000 reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the perpetrator(s) and the location of Kamille. The plans were finalized on Tuesday.
Several hours after the search on Jefferson Ave. on Wednesday, CrimeStoppers announced an additional $20,000 reward for any credible tip to solve the crime. Thursday morning, the Jefferson County Commission voted to add $8,000 to the CrimeStoppers reward for a total of $20,000. This reward is $1,600 from each commissioner's funds.
BPD Chief believes someone may have video of the kidnapping
During a press conference Tuesday, Birmingham Police Chief Patrick Smith continued his appeal to the public because he knows a lot of people were at the party and other events happening in the area Saturday night when Kamille was kidnapped. He added that he knows someone has video, cellphone video or information that could help find the child.
Authorities say they have received numerous tips.
“It’s been a great response by the Birmingham community. And even surrounding communities. I’ve had tips coming in from people out of state, from Georgia, from Florida. Obviously this has gone nationwide," says Sgt. John Pennington with Crimestoppers of Metro Alabama.
If you have any additional information, Birmingham Police have offered an additional hotline number for people who see Kamille or have other information about the case. That number is 205-297-8413. In addition, anyone one with any information may also call CrimeStoppers at 205-254-7777 or 911.
The search has expanded beyond Alabama
During a news conference Monday, Chief Smith confirmed authorities are searching beyond state lines for Kamille.
How you can help the search
Neighbors immediately took to social media following the kidnapping, but what can you do now to help?
WJXT crime and safety expert Ken Jefferson, an award-winning retired police officer, weighed in on how the public can help in the search.
“Do not approach the child unless the child is alone and seems to be stranded. If the child is with an adult you don’t want to approach because you don’t know the mindset of the person with the child. It could be the wrong child, they [you] could be asking for trouble," said Jefferson.
Jefferson, a 24-year veteran of the Jacksonville Police Department, has experience investigating cases similar to Kamille’s. He said the community and family can help in the search by posting Kamille’s pictures in neighborhoods and using social media to expand the search.
In addition, Crime Stoppers is now offering a $20,000 reward for any information leading to Kamille’s recovery and the closure of this investigation. The Crime Stoppers reward is the result of generous community support. If you would like to donate to the reward fund, you can call 205-224-5003.
According to Jefferson, law enforcement manpower is limited, so the public’s help is needed when trying to solve cases.
“Every single officer that’s on a search for this child wants to find that child. Not to be a hero or anything like that. They are putting themselves in the predicament that the parent’s are in right now,” explained Jefferson.
We have spoken to several family members, including Kamille’s father and grandmother, who are begging for a safe return.
“I’m just trying to stay strong for Cupcake mainly. This isn’t about nobody else, this is about Cupcake. Bringing Cupcake home and bringing these people to justice,” said her grandmother, Lekisha Simpson.
She also made the following plea:
“I just want to say to that person, let her go, Do the right thing. It could have been you. It could have been your child. Anybody just let her go.”
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