Hundreds of people packed a Birmingham, Alabama, church on Sunday, Oct. 27, for the funeral of Kamille “Cupcake” McKinney, the 3-year-old girl who was kidnapped from an outdoor birthday party before her body was dumped in a landfill.
McKinney’s disappearance sparked an Amber Alert and statewide search. So when her body was discovered amid the garbage 10 days later it prompted an outpouring of sympathy throughout the state and beyond.
“This 3-year-old has Herculean powers,” Birmingham Police Chief Patrick Smith said. “She’s unified a city. She’s brought the city together.”
McKinney’s funeral was held at the New Beginning Christian Ministry in Birmingham. A fellowship hall was used to seat a large overflow crowd amid a program marked by tears, somber prayer, and joyous gospel music.
Her family was in attendance, many of them wearing buttons with her face on them. Many people who attended didn’t even know McKinney or her family. They just wanted to show up and show their support, ABC 33/40 reported.
One of those people was Shayla Fenderson. She came from Montgomery, Alabama, with princess balloons and a cupcake drawing on her face.
“She was so pretty,” Fenderson said. “It is something about her eyes that touched me. She had the biggest, prettiest, glossiest eyes. She was a beautiful little girl. I do not have my own, but I couldn’t imagine going through that, so it was really important for me to come up here and show them that Montgomery is with y’all.”
Another one of those complete strangers was Marsetta Tucker from Fair Haven in Birmingham. She made handmade items like handkerchiefs that had cupcakes on them to give to the family.
“She felt just like my child, and I just don’t understand how this could have happened to her,” Tucker said. “I have been praying about it, asking God to give me some clarity, some understanding most of all because this is something I’ll probably have to wait to understand. Some things we don’t understand here on Earth. We have to wait. So, this may be one of the times that we just have to wait.”
A citywide vigil was also held outside Birmingham City Hall recently, The Associated Press reported.
News outlets reported there was a float in the child’s honor at Birmingham’s annual Magic City Classic Parade during the weekend.
The city of Birmingham has set up an official website for anyone who wants to make a donation to help pay for the child’s funeral and burial expenses: RememberingCupcake.com
— Soni Halmon (@Sonihalmon) October 26, 2019