Brandon Isabelle, a 25-year-old Tennessee man, is in police custody after authorities said he killed his infant daughter and her mother two days after the baby was born.
Memphis police officials believe that Isabelle shot and killed the mother of his child in a parking lot Tuesday before kidnapping their infant daughter Kennedy Hoyle, who was born on Sunday.
Though an Amber Alert was issued early Wednesday morning, police charged the 25-year-old with her murder as well when he was taken into custody just before 2 p.m. local time. If convicted of either of the killings, Tennessee law says he could face the death penalty.
Meanwhile, the search continues for the baby, though officials have advised that they’re mounting a recovery effort and not a rescue mission as of late Wednesday.
“Kennedy Hoyle has not been located; however, evidence suggests that she is deceased,” Memphis police said without elaboration in a statement. “The search will continue to recover her remains.”
2-Day-Old Newborn Kidnapped
According to local reports, Memphis police came across an abandoned car near Sedgewick Drive and Levi Road, a back alley on the city’s south side, around 11:15 p.m. Tuesday night.
Lying near the car was 27-year-old Danielle Hoyle, who police said had been shot dead some time before. Her infant daughter Kennedy, then 2 days old, was last seen in her care sometime that night but was nowhere to be found when authorities arrived.
By 6:30 a.m. the next morning, Memphis police had officially issued an Amber Alert for Kennedy, and within a few hours law enforcement were swarming Mud Island in the city’s downtown area to search for the newborn.
Authorities do not appear to have found what they were looking for in that neighborhood, as Memphis police did not report finding Kennedy Hoyle as of late Wednesday night.
At about 5 p.m. local time, family members told Fox 13 Memphis that the baby’s car seat was found abandoned in the parking lot of a Walmart not far from where her mother died.
Brandon Isabelle Charged
Just before 2 p.m., officials said they had detained a man in connection with Kennedy’s disappearance, and that the suspect was “known to” her and her mother.
Before the end of the night, as the search continued for his daughter, the suspect was named as Brandon Isabelle.
The 25-year-old was booked into Shelby County Jail that day on two counts of murder in the first degree. Investigators have not said what evidence led them to charge him with the murder of his newborn daughter.
Online jail records show Isabelle was also charged with “especially aggravated kidnapping,” “tampering with and/or fabricating evidence,” and murder during the commission of a crime — all felonies under the state of Tennessee’s criminal code.
If convicted of either murder count, Isabelle could face anything from life behind bars to capital punishment, legal sources say.
The kidnapping charge carries anywhere from 15 to 60 years in prison under statute, the most severe sentence for any offense of its kind on the Tennessee books. The accusation that he tampered with evidence — for which police have not explicitly detailed a justification — could earn Isabelle as much as 15 years on its own.
It’s not clear when the 25-year-old is due in court for his arraignment. But according to county jail records, Isabelle celebrated his birthday on Tuesday, the same day police believe he killed his 2-day-old daughter and her mother.