Four months ago, April Thomas’ daughter, Kamille “Cupcake” McKinney, was tragically kidnapped and murdered in Birmingham, Alabama.
Now, the griefing mom is speaking out for the first time about losing her 3-year-old little girl. “I have good days; I have bad days. But it’ll never be the same. I can’t wake up to her smiling at me or waking me up with her hugs and kisses. It’s rough,” she told CBS 42.
Kamille was attending a birthday party when she was taken from the front yard. She died from asphyxiation and was found two weeks later in a dumpster.
Two suspects, Patrick Devone Stallworth and his girlfriend, Derick Irisha Brown, have been arrested and charged with Capital murder of a child under the age of 14, according to AL.com. As WBRC reports, Stallworth told the judge he didn’t “understand why he was charged with capital murder ‘of this child,’ during his first court appearance back in October.
According to testimony from one of the suspects, Kamille had been drugged and sexually assaulted before being killed. Both suspects are currently being held without bond at Jefferson County Jail. As AL.com reports, the motive behind the killing is unclear.
“We believe this was something they thought about and acted upon. They saw an opportunity to take a young child, and they did,” said Chief Patrick Smith of the Birmingham Police.
Thomas has since been relying on support from her community to get through this painful time. But ever since her daughter’s tragic passing, she has been left wondering how she can make her neighborhood safer.
“What are we going to do to prevent this from happening?” she said during the interview. “Even though you get those donations and gifts, it still doesn’t bring, it still doesn’t make our community better. I would rather see more events towards trying to push things to be better, educations for our children. Enough is enough.”
With spring and summer break on the horizon, Thomas wants children to feel safe in their community. However, she believes that the only for kids stay safe is for the community to come together and do it themselves.
With Cupcake’s birthday right around spring break, Thomas know wants to through her baby girl a birthday party that is themed around “stranger danger awareness.” She told CBS 42, “This is something I want to do for the kids.”When I’m not hanging out with my three-year-old and husband in Brooklyn, I’m busy writing stories for Mamas Uncut and managing PR + Marketing for Magnolia Bakery, based in New York City. On weekends, you can usually find me at a local park or playground pushing my daughter on the swings, “researching” the best almond croissants in Park Slope or launching into impromptu family dance parties at home, the sidewalk or, every once in awhile, a restaurant bathroom. I’m still trying to master the whole parenting thing, but I have learned that copious amounts of coffee, humor and humility are involved on a daily basis.