'Time was of the essence': Politicians add to reward for abducted 3-year-old Kamille 'Cupcake' McKinney

Kamille "Cupcake" McKinney was playing at a birthday party when she disappeared.

October 18, 2019, 9:47 AM

Local commissioners are contributing $8,000 to a growing reward to find a 3-year-old Alabama girl who was allegedly abducted over the weekend.

Kamille "Cupcake" McKinney was playing with other children at an outdoor birthday party in Birmingham on Saturday night when she vanished, authorities said. An Amber Alert was issued but the Birmingham police said earlier this week that there was no information on Kamille's whereabouts.

PHOTO: Kamille McKinney in an undated photo.
Kamille McKinney in an undated photo.
Alabama Law Enforcement Agency

Jefferson County's five commissioners convened Thursday morning for a meeting specifically for Kamille, Helen Hayes, director of public information for Jefferson County, told ABC News.

Each commissioner is contributing $1,600 from his or her discretionary funds, for a total of $8,000, she said. That money will be added to a $20,000 Crime Stoppers reward.

"Kamille McKinney's disappearance has been heavy on my heart. I can't imagine the pain the family is going through," Commissioner Sheila Tyson said in a statement on Thursday. "[Kamille's] grandmother and other family members live in my county district. Many of the residents have been reaching out to me."

The commissioners hope the extra funds will "help somebody come forward with information that would lead to Cupcake's safe return to her family," commissioner Steve Ammons told ABC News. He said it is unusual to call a special meeting like this but he and his colleagues knew "time was of the essence."

"I just ask for ... prayers for Cupcake and prayers for the family," Ammons said.

"This is an additional boost for the purpose of trying to find this child," commissioner Joe Knight told reporters. "And if a few hundred more dollars help that to happen, we're happy to all pitch in."

"This particular case is a standout," added commissioner Lashunda Scales, "and we know that it's critical to the investigation."

Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey's office has also offered a separate $5,000 reward.

As the desperate search intensifies, Birmingham Police Chief Patrick Smith spoke directly to the kidnapper at a Wednesday news conference.

"If you have her and you're not sure what to do … please bring her to one of our fire stations, police station, a hospital," Smith said. "If you don’t know what to do or where to go and you’re frightened, we’re here to help you ... please bring her to a safe location."

Two persons of interest were brought in during the search for Kamille but all charges against them are unrelated to the disappearance, authorities said Tuesday.

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