BIRMINGHAM — Saturday, Oct. 12, 2019, was the day a tragedy began to unfold in the city of Birmingham. Three-year-old Kamille “Cupcake” McKinney was kidnapped from a housing community while attending a birthday party. Her body was found 10 days later in a dumpster that is believed to have come from Center Point.
One year later, two suspects are awaiting trial for capital murder. But on Oct. 12, 2020, we choose to reflect on the child.
McKinney, a spunky toddler with big, beautiful eyes and an unforgettable smile, was playing outside when vanished. Investigators believe she was lured into a vehicle with candy. Multiple agencies began a citywide search and vowed to not give up until the child was found.
During the search for McKinney, community members came out in droves praying for the safe return of the three-year-old and for strength for her family. Vigils were held and hands were held in prayer as local law enforcement agencies scrambled for clues. McKinney’s parents pleaded on live television for anyone with information to come forward.
10 days later, the tiny body of McKinney was discovered inside a dumpster at a landfill in Birmingham. Detectives believe the dumpster came from an apartment complex in Center Point, where the suspects lived. The same apartment complex had been the center of a search the day after McKinney disappeared.
McKinney’s body was taken to the Jefferson County Coroner/Medical Examiner’s Office for an autopsy. The little girl had died of asphyxiation and methamphetamine and Trazodone were detected in her system after toxicology testing.
Kamille “Cupcake” McKinney soon became a name known across the nation. After her body was found, it was evident that although she was small, her life made a big impact on others.