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Kamille “Cupcake” McKinney, the 3-year-old who vanished during an Alabama birthday party, was found in a landfill with methamphetamine and an anti-depressant in her system, according to testimony Tuesday, December 10.
Investigators revealed the new details in the heartbreaking case as part of a preliminary hearing for Patrick Devone Stallworth, who has been accused of kidnapping and killing McKinney along with his girlfriend, Derick Brown, according to AL.com.
After nearly two and a half hours of testimony, in which investigators retraced the couple’s movements the night McKinney disappeared and revealed blood evidence was found in the couple’s apartment, a Jefferson County Circuit Court judge ruled there was enough evidence to send the case against Stallworth to a grand jury, local station WVTM reports.
Lead homicide Det. Jonathan Ross testified that on Oct. 12, the day McKinney disappeared, Stallworth had gone into a convenience store and purchased $18.91 worth of candy near the apartments where McKinney was last seen.
Two preteen girls leaving cheerleading practice told police they were approached by a couple matching Stallworth and Brown’s description just five minutes later and said the man offered the girls candy, AL.com reports. The girls became suspicious and walked away, Ross said, but the exchange was captured on surveillance footage.
Investigators believe Stallworth later approached McKinney, who witnesses reported seeing getting in a vehicle matching the description of Stallworth’s SUV.
Ross testified that one 10-year-old boy reported she had been crying.
That same night, Ross said Stallworth went to a convenience store near his home to buy an energy drink and a pill for erectile dysfunction.
After talking with witnesses, Ross said investigators began to canvas the area's businesses and found footage of Stallworth, who was driving a vehicle matching the description the witnesses gave, go into the convenience store and buy the candy.
They were able to track the couple to their apartment after getting tips from the public and detained the couple and recovered the SUV.
Although Stallworth initially denied having any involvement with McKinney, Ross said he later changed his story, claiming Brown had taken the girl, AL.com reports. He allegedly told investigators that he walked into his apartment and saw the young girl sitting with Brown on the couch.
After telling his girlfriend that it wasn’t her child, Stallworth allegedly told police she said she wanted to keep the child and asked him to “do something sexual” with her. Stallworth said he refused and Brown put her hands over the girl's nose and mouth, killing her, Ross testified.
Brown, who has previously made statements implicating Stallworth in the abduction, later gave investigators information that led to the discovery of the young girl’s body.
She had been thrown in a dumpster near the couple’s apartment and was later recovered at a nearby landfill, Ross testified, according to WBMA.
The young girl’s body was decomposed but investigators discovered methamphetamine and Trazodone in her system.
They also found a plastic mattress cover in the couple’s living room that had blood in several places and had a mixture of DNA belonging to McKinney, Stallworth, and Brown, investigators said. Ross said authorities believe the drugs were given to her to make her tired.
According to prosecutors, an autopsy was unable to determine whether McKinney had been sexually assaulted before her death.
Stallworth’s defense attorney has argued that Stallworth was not involved in the crime and has placed the blame on Brown. He pointed to inconsistent witness statements and the fact that Brown led investigators to the body.
Brown, who is also facing capital murder charges in the case, is expected to appear in court on Friday, December 13.
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