Alabama authorities are offering a $5,000 reward for information leading to an arrest and conviction in the disappearance of a 3-year-old girl who was kidnapped last week and is believed to be “in extreme danger.”
Kamille McKinney, who according to her missing child poster, goes by the nickname “Cupcake,” was last seen at around 8:30 p.m. on Oct. 12, in Birmingham’s Tom Brown Village. She was taken from her birthday party in Avondale by a stranger driving a dark SUV, witnesses told police. A man and woman were in the vehicle.
The office of Gov. Kay Ivey made the announcement on Oct. 15, appealing to the public for their help. The governor’s office said it was offering the reward in conjunction with the district attorney’s office.
“We’re hoping that reward would give someone the courage or would motivate someone to come forward,” the office said during a news conference.
“Our goal is to find Kamille and bring her back home.”
Police say two people of interest are being questioned, but Kamille has not yet been located.
The SUV was towed from the apartment complex after it was spotted there on Sunday and a man and a woman were taken into custody as persons of interest.
Patrick Devone Stallworth, 39, of Birmingham was charged with four counts of possession of child pornography and three counts of possession with child pornography with intent to distribute. Police Chief Patrick Smith said in a statement Tuesday night that pornography was found on Stallworth’s cellphone. He’s being held on a $500,000 bond. Derrick Irisha Brown, 29, also of Birmingham, is being held on a probation revocation with no bond for an unrelated kidnapping, Smith said.
An Amber Alert was issued late Saturday and expanded on Monday to include states surrounding Alabama “to ensure that we have coverage and that we’re providing a great web for the entire area,” Birmingham Police Chief Patrick Smith said at a press conference.
The search has been “exhaustive” so far, he added. Investigators have not received any information regarding the whereabouts of the girl as of yet.
“We will not end our command post or our search until we’ve found some resolution. We’re going to stay committed to locating this 3-year-old baby,” Smith said. “This affects the entire city, it affects the state, and I think everybody wants to see this baby found and back home.”
Smith added that a separate reward of $1,000 has been issued on top of the governor’s reward for credible information leading to the whereabouts of Kamille, and credible information leading to an arrest and prosecution linked to her disappearance. The “private citizen” who offered the reward has asked to remain anonymous.
“This is a very important step, it shows how this one incident has impacted the greater part of the city of Birmingham—people are willing to step up,” Smith told reporters.
He urged members of the public to help out with the investigation.
“We know a lot of people were at this party. We know a couple of events were going on at the same time. But we also know a number of you have cellphone videos and other information that may be helpful in locating this 3-year-old child,” Smith said, Tuesday.
Kamille’s parents have asked people to stay alert.
“We just want the baby back. I’m not gonna stop until we get my baby back,” Kamille’s father told WAFF.
“I mean she’s three, man. She’s innocent. I just want my baby back at the end of the day like anybody else would.”
Relatives and others urged the kidnappers to let the girl go.
“Everybody knows Cupcake out here. This girl, this baby, is looking for her mother and her father,’’ said Tina Powell, a close friend of the girl’s family, at a vigil on Monday night, reported AL.com.
“She don’t understand who took her and she needs to come home.”
Retired police officer Ken Jefferson said members of the public should keep an eye out but not approach the girl themselves if they spot her.
“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, [you] could be asking for trouble,” said Jefferson.
Jefferson said people can share Kamille’s pictures online and in the community.
Anyone with information was asked to call a hotline at (205) 297-8413, 911, or CrimeStoppers at 205-254-7777.
The Associated Press and Epoch Times reporter Zachary Stieber contributed to this report.