One year later, criminal investigation still pending in ETX boy' - WBRC FOX6 News - Birmingham, AL

One year later, criminal investigation still pending in ETX boy's death


The Smith County District Attorney says the criminal investigation into a two-year-old boy's death is still ongoing, one year after his body was found in his family's septic tank.

Jake Kimbley's body was found in the septic tank of his family's Winona home in the early-morning hours of Aug. 22, 2012 after one of the largest searches in Smith County history.

One year later, Jake's autopsy results still have not been released. It's still unknown how he died or how he ended up in the family's septic tank.

District Attorney Matt Bingham said he is not allowed to discuss the pending criminal investigation, but that his office is not releasing those autopsy results so the case isn't compromised.

While Jake's parents, David and Sabrina Kimbley, have not been named suspects in his death, Bingham says they are still considered subjects of the criminal investigation -- just as they were one year ago.

"I'm very cognizant of the fact that these are two parents that have lost a child. The reality of it is, though, that they are people we're look at because we're going to look at everyone until we can say they're not involved," Bingham said in an interview on Aug. 22, 2012. "And we're going to carry it as a homicide until we can say that it's otherwise."

Jake Kimbley's five siblings were removed from their home the day Jake's body was found because of the home's living conditions. Four of the children have been in the state's custody ever since. Permanent placement hearings are still ongoing on their behalf. One of the children is living with his biological father in Virginia.

Bingham said in a May interview with KLTV that the five surviving children will be a key part of the criminal investigation.

"You always hope that when the children get into another home, where they're out of this environment, they know that they're protected, that if the children do know something, that they'll come forward at some point," Bingham said.

The statute of limitations to file a criminal case in Jake's death does not expire. Bingham has said that his office will only get one chance to prosecute Jake's death, so they won't file charges until they are certain they have the evidence they need to win the case.

In a statement released on Wednesday, Bingham said: "The parents of Jake Kimbley are in prison and their parental rights have been terminated. The investigation in Jake Kimbley's death is active and ongoing. This case is extremely important and a top priority to me and law enforcement. I know that people may have questions about the case, but I know they will understand that we cannot release specifics about the case or the ongoing investigation because we do not want to compromise the case or the integrity of the investigation."

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