Johnson County District Attorney Steve Howe said Wednesday that his office will decline to file charges against Chiefs wide receiver Tyreek Hill and his fiancée, Crystal Espinal, in the ongoing criminal investigation for child abuse charges.
Howe said his office believed that a crime occurred but "the evidence does not conclusively establish who committed the crime."
Hill and Espinal temporarily lost custody of their three-year-old son last week amid allegations of abuse after a reported emergency hearing as part of a 'child in need of care' case—which the court describes as situations in which they "must determine if the child is ‘in need of care’ (meaning, that the child is without proper care or supervision, or has been abused, or is truant, or other statutory reasons)"—in Johnson County. Their son has been temporarily placed in another home, pending further court action.
Howe clarified that while the criminal investigation into Hill is now closed, the Kansas Department of Child and Family services child protection investigation remains ongoing. He also said that his office has not spoken with the Chiefs or with the NFL, although the league did request information.
The Chiefs released a statement later on Wednesday to say that they were informed of the decision.
"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," the team said.
Hill also released a statement on Thursday, calling his son's "health and happiness" his "number one priority."
"I love and support my family above anything. My son’s health and happiness is my number one priority. I want to thank the Kansas City Chiefs, my attorneys, my agent and my union for supporting me through this. My focus remains on working hard to be the best person for my family and our community I can be, and the best player to help our team win," Hill said in the statement, per KCTV5.
Hill was under investigation for two incidents of suspected child abuse after Overland Park Police were called to his home on March 15 for an alleged battery involving their son that reportedly resulted in a broken arm.
Officers were called to the same address on March 5 to investigate a report of child abuse or neglect. Hill's name is directly listed on that report but it was closed three days later when the prosecution was declined, according to documents obtained by KCTV5. Hill's name was not listed on the more recent battery report, but his address was listed as the location. Espinal was listed on both investigating reports.
According to police records, the NFL requested documents from Overland Park police on March 12 asking for any relevant information regarding Hill, Espinal and their son as “it relates to alleged injuries sustained by the couple’s minor child.”