The body of Kamille McKinney, known as "Cupcake," was found in a dumpster at a landfill, Birmingham Police Chief Patrick Smith announced Tuesday. Kamille was last seen at an outdoor birthday party Oct. 12 at the Tom Brown Village public housing complex.
"I hope that this message is not lost to young mothers, to grandmothers, and to the entire Birmingham community: it only takes a split second," Smith said. "We can no longer assume that everyone is part of the village that is trying to raise the child."
Let our news meet your inbox. The news and stories that matters, delivered weekday mornings.
A male suspect, Patrick Stallworth, and a female, Derick Brown, are in custody, and police are seeking warrants for capital murder and kidnapping charges.
Smith said the two suspects are not connected to Kamille's family.
"We believe they saw an opportunity to take a young child, which they did," the police chief said.
Birmingham Mayor Randall Woodfin said Tuesday that the entire city is mourning the loss of Kamille. Woodfin added that the pain felt by Kamille's family is "unimaginable" and their pain would not be ignored.
“As chief has said, and I think I need to make this point, the perpetrator of this crime will be brought to justice and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law,” Woodfin said.
“But tonight — right now at this moment that we’re standing in — I ask one thing of this community: not to take sides," the mayor added. "Not to finger-point. But if there is any finger-pointing, it's to the suspect who would kidnap a 3-year-old. I ask every member of community to stand in solidarity beside this broken family.”
Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey wrote in a tweet late Tuesday that her prayers were with Kamille's family and everyone who has been touched by her tragic death.
"The heart of our state is broken, but our resolve must be to do everything we can to avoid this tragedy from happening to another family," Ivey wrote.
CORRECTION (Oct. 23, 2019, 10:28 a.m.) An earlier version of this article misstated the gender of one of the two people arrested in connection with the kidnapping and murder of Kamille McKinney. Suspect Derick Brown is a woman, not a man.
Doha Madani is a breaking news reporter for NBC News.