King Hill, last seen July 5 and reported missing three days later, had been entrusted to the care of Tianna Parks by his stepfather, authorities said Monday. His body hasn't been found, but the district attorney's office said "cellphone and video evidence" led investigators to the conclusion that the child was dead.
"We don't right now have the mechanism of King Hill's death, we don't know the date of his death, and we don't know the location of his death, nor do we know where Ms. Parks disposed of his body, but we know based on the evidence that we have that he was in fact killed by Ms. Parks," said Anthony Voci Jr., chief of the DA's homicide unit.
Parks, who frequently cared for the child, was interviewed by investigators, and Voci said "virtually everything that she told us was refuted by the evidence that the FBI and the Philadelphia police department developed." He said there was no evidence of involvement by anyone else and declined to speak about a possible motive.
Parks, 24, was arrested early Monday and charged with murder, child endangerment, custodial interference, abuse of a corpse, evidence-tampering and lying to authorities. Court documents don't list a defense attorney for Parks and a person answering a phone listed in her name hung up Monday.
Residents of the Strawberry Mansion neighborhood of northwest Philadelphia, where the child's mother lives, earlier took part in searches for the missing child.
FBI special agent in charge Michael Driscoll joined the police commissioner in expressing his "deepest condolences" to the family of the victim, who would have celebrated his third birthday later in the month.
"The entire city was hoping for a much different outcome in this investigation," he said.
Kimberly Hill, King's maternal grandmother, tells Action News now they just want King home so they can bury him.
"Wherever he is at, whatever happened to him, just bring him back so we can put King to rest," said Hill. "He was amazing, everybody loved King."