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Body of missing 3-year-old Kamille “Cupcake” McKinney found

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Times staff report

The body of Kamille “Cupcake” McKinney, the three-year-old girl who was abducted in Birmingham on Oct. 12, was found inside of a dumpster at a landfill, Police Chief Patrick Smith said Tuesday night.

Smith told a news conference that the remains of McKinney were located in a trash bin that had been taken to a landfill. Police had been watching garbage deposits from a certain part of the city, he said.

Smith said police were obtaining murder warrants against two people previously identified as persons of interest in the case, 39-year-old Patrick Devone Stallworth and his 29-year-old girlfriend, Derick Irisha Brown.

Lawyers for both have said they are innocent.

The child, known as “Cupcake” to relatives, vanished while outside a birthday party on Oct. 12. Investigators know of no link between the suspects and the girl or her family, Smith said.

“We believe this was something they thought about and acted upon. They saw an opportunity to take a young child, and they did,” said Smith, who did not reveal a potential motive.

Mayor Randall Woodfin said Birmingham was a “city in mourning.”

“Kamille McKinney is gone, ripped away from her family. The pain her family is enduring right now is unimaginable,” Woodfin said during the news conference. “Know that whomever perpetrated this grisly crime upon this family will be brought to justice and will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.

“But tonight, right now, at this moment, I ask one thing of this community. Not to take sides. Not to finger-point. I ask every member of the 99 neighborhoods that makes up our city to stand in solidarity beside this broken family. Now, more than ever, this family needs us.”

Leaders from around the state, including Governor Kay Ivey, released statements on the tragic news.

“Given the tragic news that is breaking this evening, I offer my heartfelt condolences to Kamille’s family,” said Ivey. “. . . the heart of our state is broken, but we must do all we can to avoid this happening to another family. Our prayers remain with Kamille’s family and all who have been touched by this nightmare.”

Congresswoman Terri Sewell said her prayers are with her with Kamille’s family and the entire Birmingham community during this unthinkable time. We must continue to find strength and unity, even in the face of heart breaking tragedy. Hold the ones you love close.”