Photographs by Benjamin Krain
Lt. Michael Ford, a Little Rock police spokesman, talks Friday about a second suspect in a December triple homicide.
Saturday, January 13, 2018
Little Rock police on Friday identified a man in federal custody as a second suspect in the killing of a 24-year-old woman and her two children last month.
Authorities said 25-year-old Michael Ivory Collins is suspected in the deaths of Mariah Cunningham and her children, 5-year-old Alayah Fisher and 3-year-old Elijah Fisher. All three were found dead Dec. 5 in their residence at the Rosewood Apartments in southwest Little Rock.
Earlier this week, police arrested 21-year-old William Alexander and charged him with three counts of capital murder in the killings.
Speaking at a news conference Friday afternoon, Little Rock police Capt. Russell King said Collins and Alexander are brothers and reported that Collins knew Cunningham.
Collins had been developed as a potential suspect and was arrested in Chicago on his birthday, Dec. 8, on federal probation violation warrants, King said.
Collins was in federal custody in Oklahoma, King said Friday afternoon.
Although detectives have obtained three capital-murder warrants for Collins, King said those had not yet been served because authorities have to bring him back to Arkansas.
"We are working on extradition," he said.
Many key details of the case remain unknown to the public, including how the victims were killed.
Police also declined to talk about a possible motive in the case Friday. But at the news conference, Little Rock Mayor Mark Stodola said domestic-related violence is a real issue in Little Rock.
"Of course, Capt. King is going to give you the details of this, but it puts an accent point on ... the issue of domestic-related violence that we have seen continually as a problem in our community," Stodola said.
King did not provide specifics on how Collins knew Cunningham.
Cunningham's grandmother, Sheba Cunningham, found the bodies Dec. 5 when she went to check on the family after the children did not arrive at school and she was not able to contact her granddaughter, police said.
On or around that day, Collins left Arkansas to travel to Chicago, King said. After his arrest in Chicago, Collins was interviewed by Little Rock investigators.
On Monday, Little Rock police interviewed Alexander and arrested him on three counts of capital murder, King said. Police then secured three capital-murder warrants for Collins on Thursday.
At the news conference, Police Chief Kenton Buckner thanked the community for assistance in the case, along with multiple offices involved in the investigation.
Court records show Collins' arrest warrant came from a federal court in Colorado. The warrant accused him of violating his supervised release, including failure to participate in substance abuse or mental health treatment directed by a probation officer.
In February 2014, Collins pleaded guilty to a federal firearm charge in Colorado, according to court records.
In October 2013, Collins fled from Denver police officers on a bicycle after authorities saw him pass through a red light without stopping, according to a plea agreement. Police eventually took him into custody, and witnesses said Collins had thrown his backpack over a schoolyard fence.
Officers found the backpack and inside located a pistol with an "obliterated serial number," the court documents said. Police also reportedly found ammunition in the pistol's magazine.
The court records said Collins had previously been convicted in the second-degree burglary of a building and that he "knowingly possessed the [pistol] after obtaining a felony conviction."
Authorities concluded the ammunition and firearm were not manufactured in Colorado, "and therefore traveled in interstate commerce," leading to the federal firearm charge.
Online court records indicate that Alexander, before his arrest this week, had never been charged with a felony for a violent crime in Pulaski County.
Metro on 01/13/2018
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