The body believed to be that of a 3-year-old girl who disappeared from an Alabama birthday party over a week ago has been found in a dumpster, police said Tuesday night.
A couple is suspected of the murder after police discovered the remains of Kamille "Cupcake" McKinney in a trash bin inside a landfill in Birmingham.
"We found the remains of a child that we believe to be Kamille," Police Chief Patrick Smith said at a press conference.
Police had been searching for the child since she was abducted from a birthday party on Oct. 12. Police have issued capital murder warrants for Patrick Stallworth, 39, and Derick Brown, 29. The pair had been identified as persons of interest in the case.
The couple has no relation to Kamille’s family, police said. Smith also noted that Kamille’s remains were found not far from the home of the pair.
Kamille was outside playing with friends at the party around 8:30 p.m. when she disappeared from the Tom Brown Village public housing community in Avondale, according to police.
An Amber Alert was quickly issued and police asked the public to be on the lookout for a dark-colored Toyota Sequoia. The day after the abduction, Stallworth and Brown were taken into custody after police say they caught Stallworth on surveillance footage. The Toyota Sequoia was also seized by police at the time.
Brown was held by authorities in connection with a previous kidnapping case involving her children, according to AL.com. Stallworth was charged with seven counts of possession of child pornography when authorities found pictures on his phone. He was released on $500,000 bond, but he was arrested again Tuesday.
Kamille’s father, 27-year-old Dominic McKinney, was holding out hope that after the couple was initially taken into custody, his daughter would be found.
“I feel a little better that they got him but the search goes on because Cupcake still isn’t home,'' McKinney told AL.com on Sunday. “We’re still not stopping. I feel better that they caught him, I do, but until I see that baby, they can catch him all day.”
Birmingham police, the FBI and the U.S. Marshals Service had all been a part of the search for the toddler.
"It only takes a split second," Smith said at the press conference. "We can no longer assume that everyone is a part of the village that's trying to raise the child. We cannot take those things for granted."
Police believe the pair thought about the alleged crime beforehand and then acted on it.
"Our further investigations will reveal what happened after that," Smith said
Lawyers for both Stallworth and Brown say they are innocent, according USA Today.