Two suspects charged in the 2019 abduction, sexual assault and murder of 3-year-old Kamille ‘Cupcake’ McKinney were indicted Wednesday on federal kidnapping and conspiracy charges.Local NBC News affiliate 9News reports that the Northern District of Alabama US Attorney’s Office and the FBI announced the indictments Wednesday against Patrick Stallworth, 40, and Derick Irisha Brown, 29.The man and woman are each charged with one count of kidnapping and one count of conspiracy to kidnap a minor in Jefferson County.
According to investigators, the little girl’s body was found in a dumpster 10 days after she was kidnapped from a birthday party at an apartment complex in Birmingham, Alabama.An autopsy found ‘Cupcake’ McKinney had ingested methamphetamine and a sedative before her October murder. She died by suffocation.Both Stallworth and Brown already face state charges for kidnapping and capital murder in the death of Kamille “Cupcake” McKinney. Al.com reports both suspects are already charged with capital murder of a child under the age of 14 in state court for the 2019 slaying of ‘Cupcake’ McKinney. If convicted, they could face the death penalty.
Stallworth and Brown, who were reportedly in a romantic relationship for about a year before their arrests, have since blamed each other for the 3-year-old’s abduction and killing. A gag order is now in place.“The kidnapping of a child is one of a parent’s biggest fears,” First Assistant United States Attorney Lloyd C. Peeples said Wednesday during a press conference.
“Despite their best efforts, federal, state, and local law enforcement were not able to bring the 3-year old victim home to her family. However, we hope that today’s charges will be a step towards bringing justice for her and her family.”
Both already are charged with capital murder of a child under the age of 14 in state court for the 2019 slaying of 3-year-old Kamille ‘Cupcake’ McKinney and, if convicted, could face the death penalty. Now, they could also face a similar fate if convicted in federal court.According to local Fox affiliate WGHP, Stallworth and Brown were identified as suspects in the case not long after ‘Cupcake’ McKinney first went missing, and were subsequently arrested.
‘Cupcake’ McKinney was abducted on October 12, 2019 as she played outside a birthday party in Tom Brown Village. Her mysterious disappearance gripped the community for 10 days, until her remains were found on the night of October 22 in a dumpster at a Jefferson County landfill.
Peeples explained that, under federal statute, if it is proven that her tragic death resulted from a kidnapping, the penalty is either life in prison without parole or death.
The decision regarding whether the US will ask for the death penalty in this specific case will be determined by the Attorney General at a later time.
“Again, if we prove death resulted from the kidnapping, which shouldn’t be a hard thing to prove, if we do that then they will get a mandatory minimum sentence of life in prison with no possibility of parole,” Peeples said. “Hopefully we’ll be able to bring justice to the family.”
On Oct. 12, 3-year-old Kamille “Cupcake” McKinney was taken during a party at the Tom Brown Village housing community in Birmingham. Ten days later, McKinney’s body was found in a dumpster at an apartment in Center Point.According to KIRO-TV, Stallworth’s DNA was found under the ‘Cupcake’s fingernails, indicating that she fought for her life before she was suffocated.
Stallworth was found with scratches on his chest while in police custody in the days following the toddler’s disappearance.
Her DNA, along with that of the two suspects, was also discovered on a bloodstained plastic cover taken from a mattress in the couple’s home at the Woodside Condominiums in Center Point, a city about 12 miles from where she was abducted.
Security footage from a nearby camera showed a man approach ‘Cupcake’ and another child on the street, before walking away with them following behind. He is believed to have bribed the kids with candy purchased at a gas station hours before.
Authorities said tipsters who saw the images identified the man in photos released by police as Stallworth, and he was taken into custody the following day.The video footage captured of her abduction is the last moment Cupcake was seen alive.
Cupcake was playing outside with another child around 7:25 p.m. Oct. 12 when footage from a nearby security camera recorded a man approaching the children. He appeared to speak to them for a moment before walking off down the street, the children following along behind him.