An 11-minute audio clip that features Chiefs wide receiver Tyreek Hill and his fiancée, Crystal Espinal, discussing their three-year-old son's broken arm and how to deal with the police investigation was released by KCTV5 on Thursday.
In the clip, Espinal asks Hill why their son said, "Daddy did it," in regards to their son's broken arm. At one point, Hill tells Espinal, "You need to be terrified of me, too, b----."
Later in the conversation, Espinal discusses other instances of Hill getting physical with the child, saying, "You open up his arms and you punch him in the chest." Espinal also said in the recording that Hill used a belt on the child, who has temporarily been removed from their home amid a Department for Children and Families investigation.
The Johnson County District Attorney's office now has the audio, according to KCTV5.
On Wednesday, Johnson County DA Steve Howe said that his office would decline to file charges against Hill and Espinal in the 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," which led them to close the case.
In the audio clip, Espinal tells Hill that she "rode for him with that detective," during the criminal investigation. The two can be heard discussing how they intended to explain the incident to the investigators.
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.
A Chiefs executive says the team has no immediate comment on the Hill audio but is expected to update, according to ESPN's Chris Mortensen.
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.
Last week, Hill and Espinal temporarily lost custody of their three-year-old son 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 had not spoken with the Chiefs or with the NFL, although the league requested information.
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 was 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.