The death of a toddler who went missing in earlier this month has left an Alabama community shaken. But the news of the manner in which Kamille “Cupcake” McKinney died was likely even more unnerving to the city of Birmingham, where the three-year-old was first reported missing from on Oct. 12.
Cupcake “died by asphyxiation by suffocation, according to warrants read by a judge at Friday morning’s initial court appearance by both the charged suspects in her slaying,” AL.com reported.
The “charged suspects” referred to Patrick Stallworth, 39, and 29-year-old Derick Irisha Brown, who were each charged with Cupcake’s murder and kidnapping. Birmingham police had already arrested them and had them in custody on other charges prior to Cupcake’s remains being found in a landfill on Tuesday. The couple has maintained their innocence and a motive for Cupcake’s killing was not immediately disclosed.
Meanwhile, Cupcake’s funeral was set to be held Sunday in Birmingham at 1 p.m. with visitation beginning at noon.
“The funeral is planned for New Beginning Christian Ministry, where pastor Sylvester Wilson said the church has a 700-seat sanctuary and can use its fellowship hall as an overflow auditorium,” the Associated Press reported.
Funds to foot the cost of the funeral were still being collected via a GoFundMe account that had barely reached half of its $25,000 goal as of Friday afternoon.
“Funds raised above the goal will be distributed to Birmingham area nonprofits serving high risk and vulnerable populations impacted by human trafficking, mental and physical abuse, and violence against children,” according to the fund-raising web page.
Cupcake went missing on the evening of Oct. 12 while she was with her mother and other family members at a birthday party. She was last seen in the parking lot of the Tom Brown Village public housing community with other children who reported that a Black male got out of an SUV and put Cupcake in the vehicle. Police found out that the SUV in question turned out to be a Toyota Sequoia per surveillance footage from a nearby Shell gas station that also showed images of a possible suspect. Police quickly ruled out the possibility that Cupcake’s disappearance had anything to do with a custody dispute.
The Alabama Law Enforcement Agency issued an Amber Alert for Cupcake hours later and on Oct. 13 the FBI announced that it would also get involved in the search. It was the FBI that helped locate Cupcake’s remains in a dumpster at the landfill. “The dumpster had been transported to a landfill near Warrior, where Birmingham police and FBI agents recovered Kamille’s body and pronounced her dead at 5:16 p.m. that day,” AL.com reported.
Authorities announced on Oct. 14 that they had located the vehicle in question and detained Stallworth and Brown. At the time, Stallworth was charged with four counts of possession of child pornography and three counts of possession with child pornography with intent to distribute while Brown was charged with kidnapping for a separate incident. At the time, both were also questioned about Cupcake’s disappearance. Now they are both charged with the little girl’s murder and kidnapping.