PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — Authorities say the babysitter of 2-year-old King Hill was arrested in connection to his death. The District Attorney’s Office and police confirm 24-year-old Tianna Parks has been charged with murder.
Police arrested Parks early Monday morning after she was hospitalized for an unknown reason.
Police say King’s stepfather, Marvin Reese, put the toddler in Parks’ care. Officers arrested Parks after the investigation uncovered cell phone video confirming the child was killed. Parks now faces numerous charges, including murder and abuse of corpse.
“The death of King Hill is an unbearable tragedy that is compounded by Tianna Parks’ actions. This precious baby’s family and community deserve to know how he died. They deserve the opportunity to bury and mourn him with dignity,” District Attorney Larry Krasner said. “This child deserved so much better in life. My office will continue to work alongside the Philadelphia Police and FBI to seek justice for his death.”
Investigators believe Parks killed King well before police were called about his disappearance. Police developed her as a suspect very early on in the investigation, saying her story did not check out.
“Witness testimony, phone data, call detail records, call logs, video evidence. The fact that she just kept trying to deceive our investigators and lead us into a different direction. All those inconsistencies in her statement, it all added up,” Philadelphia Police Capt. Jason Smith said.
Philadelphia police say Reese reported him missing on July 8, when he realized Parks did not have the 2-year-old.
Reese told police Parks was a friend who helped babysit King in the past. He said King had been in Parks’ care for about two weeks before he was reported missing.
The last confirmed sighting of King was on July 5.
With the help of the FBI, detectives uncovered cell phone video that they say confirms King was killed. But many questions remain.
“We don’t right now have the mechanism of King Hill’s death, we don’t know the date of his death, 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, chief of the Homicide Unit with the District Attorney’s Office.
Parks told police she returned the child to his mother at 31st and Diamond Streets. King’s mother Amber Hill says that handoff never happened and that she did not know Parks at all.
JUST IN: @PhillyPolice confirm the babysitter was arrested in connection with the death of King Hill. She is charged with murder. Her name has not yet been released. News conference scheduled for 1:45pm.https://t.co/t9s8HddXVy
— Trang Do (@TrangDoCBS3) July 20, 2020
After a nearly two-week search, King’s mother says detectives and a representative from the District Attorney’s Office visited her Strawberry Mansion home Sunday to share that Parks would be charged with her son’s murder. His body has not yet been recovered.
“I can’t even get his body, whatever she was doing to him, I can’t even get his body. It’s messing my whole family up. I just feel like this whole investigation was too long. I think they should have been incarcerated her,” Amber Hill said.
Police are continuing the search for King’s body. They are asking anyone with information that could lead to the recovery to contact them immediately.
CBS3’s Trang Do contributed to this report.