The babysitter of a missing 2-year-old Philadelphia boy has been charged with murder, authorities said.
Tianna Park, 24, of Philadelphia, was arrested early Monday on charges including murder, child endangerment and abuse of a corpse in the death of King Hill, who was last seen earlier this month in the city’s Strawberry Mansion section, District Attorney Larry Krasner announced Monday.
The boy’s body has not been found, but Philadelphia police and FBI investigators have cellphone and video evidence indicating he’s dead, Krasner said.
“The death of King Hill is an unbearable tragedy that is compounded by Tianna Parks’ actions,” Krasner said in a statement. “This precious baby’s family and community deserve to know how he died. They deserve the opportunity to bury and mourn him with dignity.”
Police have said King was last seen on July 7. He was reported missing a day later, the Philadelphia Inquirer reports.
Police and FBI officials, along with investigators from the district attorney’s office, declined to specify what they say links Parks to the boy’s death except to say that “virtually everything” she told detectives was refuted by evidence, the newspaper reports.
“We don’t right now have a mechanism of King Hill’s death, we don’t know the date of his death,” Anthony Voci, homicide chief for the Philadelphia District Attorney’s Office, told reporters Monday. “But we know, based on the evidence that we have, that he was in fact killed by Ms. Parks.”
Police said King’s stepfather filed a missing person report roughly two weeks after dropping the boy off with Parks, who regularly watched the boy.
Homicide Capt. Jason Smith said King’s stepfather told police he spoke with Parks about the boy’s whereabouts, saying she told him she dropped the tot off at the home of his mother, Amber Hill, on July 7, the newspaper reports.
But the last confirmed sighting of the boy was actually July 4 or 5, Smith told reporters.
Parks, who was arraigned Monday, was ordered held without bail. An attorney was not listed for her in court documents, the newspaper reports.
Amber Hill, meanwhile, told the Inquirer Monday that her son was “full of life” and looked after his 7-year-old sister despite the age difference.
“I’m not going to get closure,” she told the newspaper.
In an online fundraiser aimed to raise money for the boy’s funeral, Hill said her son was left in the care of a person whom she “trusted,” while adding that she learned the news “no mother could stand to hear” on Monday.
“My son is dead,” the website reads. “They have proof. They are not sure that his body will be fully recovered due to the circumstances surrounding the events that [led] to his death. I just want to be able to provide a service fit for a King, while keeping faith that his body can be recovered.”
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