A mother was found bludgeoned to death and her four-year-old daughter beaten unconscious nearly 12 hours after she called 911 for help.
Mackenzie Hopkins, 24, called authorities to report a disturbance at her Kansas City, Missouri home at 6:01 a.m. Saturday, with the operator later telling detectives they heard people fighting.
It wasn’t until Ms Hopkins’ father requested a wellness check at his home near East 73rd Street and Wabash Avenue just before 6pm that first responders discovered her body submerged in a bathtub and her young daughter in bed with “severe blunt force trauma to her head”.
The girl, whose name has not been released, was taken to hospital where her family says she remains in critical condition.
Police said they found large pools of blood in the living room of the house and drag marks where it appeared the victim’s body had been moved.
According to a police affidavit, when investigators went to interview one of Ms Hopkins’ friends at her home the day after the attacks, they noticed a pair of men’s Ariat cowboy boots that matched bloody prints found on the premises.
The unnamed friend told investigators the boots belonged to her boyfriend, Jose Escalante-Corchado, who was charged with multiple crimes including first-degree murder on Tuesday.
Escalante-Corchado, 24, of Kansas City, Kansas, has denied all charges.
A police source said The Independent Police responded to Ms Hopkins’ earlier call but could not give any details as to why it took 12 hours to locate her and her child.
According to charging documents, detectives located surveillance video from a nearby property of a man fleeing Ms Hopkins’ home and getting into a white truck a minute after Ms Hopkins called 911.
The truck is seen entering a Shell gas station minutes later and a Hispanic man with dark hair and wearing a dark colored hoodie, dark colored coveralls and a blue medical mask walks into the store.
Surveillance footage shows the truck leaving the gas station at 6.22am on January 15. At 6.48 a.m., the unknown man reappeared entering Mrs. Hopkins’ house, only to leave two hours later.
When shown the surveillance footage, Escalante-Corchado admitted he went to the Shell gas station that day and that it was him on the tape, according to court documents.
He told detectives he had been at a bar in 7th St Casino until 3am on the morning of the murder and had “made a few turns” in his truck before returning home.
He told police he knew Ms Hopkins and her daughter and had helped them move into their flat two months earlier.
“Escalante denied any involvement in the murder of the victim and the assault of his daughter, but had no reasonable explanation for being in the area of the victim’s home in his truck for more than 2 hours,” they said. said detectives.
He is being held without bond on charges of first degree murder, first degree assault, two counts of felony action with a weapon and first degree endangerment of the welfare of a child. Under Missouri state law, prosecutors could seek the death penalty against him.
Ms Hopkins’ heartbroken family said they struggled to come to terms with the tragedy.
“It’s just shocking to everyone. I don’t think anyone wants to believe that these things can happen, especially to someone and affect someone you know,’ Michelle Bishop, Ms Hopkins’ aunt, told Fox2Now.
In a GoFundme page set up to help raise money for funeral and medical costs, her sister-in-law Shawna Hopkins said, “Mackenzie was so loved by many. She was an amazing sister, daughter, friend and mother.
“His only wish would be for his sweet little girl to recover as soon as possible.”
Jackson County District Attorney’s Office spokesman Mike Mansur said The Independent he was unable to comment beyond what was in the charging documents.
The Independent Gt