Authorities in Johnson County believe a crime occurred involving the 3-year-old child of Tyreek Hill and his fiancee Crystal Espinal, but no charges will be filed in the case.
“We believe that a crime has occurred,” Johnson County District Attorney Steve Howe said in a Wednesday press conference announcing the decision. “However, the evidence in this case does not conclusively establish who committed this crime.”
The Chiefs issued a statement declining to comment Wednesday evening.
“This afternoon we were informed that Tyreek Hill will not be charged by the Johnson County District Attorney’s Office. Due to the continued investigation by the Department for Children and Families, we will have no further comment at this time.”
Overland Police investigated two incidents on March 5 and March 14 at the residence of Hill and Espinal. The child allegedly suffered a broken arm resulting in the police investigation. Howe declined to elaborate on many details of the case, citing an ongoing child protection investigation involving the state's Department of Children and Families. He also declined to specify if he believed Hill, Espinal or a third-party committed the alleged crime.
Howe declined to specify child abuse as the suspected crime involved.
"I really don't want to get into the particulars of the case," Howe explained. "I think you have enough information that you can run with that, but I'm not going to confirm that information."
While the criminal investigation has concluded, the child protection case will continue, Howe said. If new information emerges, Howe said the criminal investigation could relaunch. There's a five-year statue of limitation on cases of this nature, he explained.
“We feel that we are at an impasse at this point,” Howe said, “and any further investigation would be unnecessary or unwarranted.”
KCTV-5 first reported last week that the child had been removed from his parents' custody through family court proceedings. Howe would not confirm whether the child remained in the custody of Hill or Espinal.
“What I can is the child is safe,” Howe said.
Howe said the Chief and the NFL has contacted his offense for information on the case but he had not spoken to anyone from either organization about the investigation. He said it would be highly unlikely if he would share information his office gathered with the Chiefs or the NFL because of the ongoing child protection investigation.
Howe said confessed to frustration that he believes a child was injured yet charges cannot be proven beyond a reasonable doubt. He also underscored that this case is not unique in that regard, but rather only notable because one of the figures of the investigation is a public figure.
“Our criminal justice is based on the fact that we were rather let guilty people go free than convict innocent people go free,” Howe said. “These are not unique decisions that we make as prosecutors. This is something that happens each and every day across this country.”
Howe confessed to frustration charges cannot be filed in the case.
"Absolutely, I mean, a child's been hurt," Howe said, "So yes, as a prosecutor, as a father of four kids, yes, it frustrates me when a person hurts a child that you can't do anything about it."