KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Mackenzie Hopkins’ family said Kansas City police tell them they did go to the home when a 911 call was placed before the mother was found dead and her 4-year-old daughter critically injured.
But a new policy prevented them from perhaps doing more to help the victims earlier, according to what the family said they were told by police.
If not for the recent conviction of Kansas City Police Detective Eric DeValkeneare, the family now understands there wouldn’t have been nearly 12 hours between the call and when the mom and daughter were found inside the home on Wabash Avenue January 15.
“She had big plans she really did,” Hopkins father Shannon said.
Hopkins was a CNA going to nursing school and raising her four year old daughter. Now that little girl remains hospitalized and unable to speak. Her mother, 24, was found dead in a bathtub on a welfare check that same evening.
Hopkins father couldn’t get a hold of the woman family called Mickey and was on his way to her home.
“They asked me if I had a key and I did, I started to put the key in and the door pushed open,” Hopkins said but explained he was quickly escorted out of the home as police saw signs of victims being dragged throughout the home’s main floor.
When the boyfriend of Hopkins friend, Jose Escalante Corchado, was charged the family learned a 911 call was made from Hopkins phone 12 hours before the pair were found.
“She didn’t hang up, they heard fighting,” Hopkins said reciting details revealed in the charging document.
Hopkins said police told him they went to the home and knocked on the door but no one answered.
“In my opinion there was plenty of information to go in,” Hopkins said.
Family said detectives also indicated they didn’t check all the windows around the home. Hopkins said detectives told the family Kansas City Police have changed internal policies since the conviction of DeValkenaere.
A Judge ruled the detective had no legal right to be there when he shot and killed Cameron Lamb in the backyard carport of his home.
“My understanding of that is had that not occurred they normally would have gone in based on the information they had or lack of information,” Hopkins said.
When asked about any related recent policy changes Kansas City Police responded: “We always comply with case law precedence and KCPD stays abreast of current case law and risk factors that may be involved and update and inform members. The 4th amendment is based on a totality of the situation, reasonableness and the factors available at the time.”
According to prosecutors, video shows the suspect left one minute after that 911 call and returned 45 minutes later. Hopkins doesn’t know for sure whether cops were there in time to make a difference, but the answer to whether they should have known how much danger the mother and daughter might be in, may lie in that 911 call.
“It might kill me but eventually I need to know if things could have been different for my daughter and my granddaughter,” Hopkins said.
A GoFundMe page has been set up to help the family.
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