On Nov. 8, 2019, more than 900 people attended the third-annual Anaheim Confidential fundraiser. The event helps to support the Anaheim Cops 4 Kids program as well as victim outreach efforts of the Orange County Homicide Investigators Association.
Anaheim Confidential is an opportunity for Anaheim homicide detectives to share highlights from a case. In simple words, think of a “Dateline” episode, but in this case it’s live.
The presenters were Sgt. Jeff Mundy, Det. John Duran, and Det. Julissa Trapp from the Anaheim Homicide Detail.
The case involved the arrest of 27-year-old Kwame Carpenter for the stabbing death of his wife, 24-year-old Moureen, and 6-month-old son, Kyan. In the words of Duran, it was a “gimmie bear” case — a known suspect not a “whodunnit.”
As with previous presentations, this one afforded the audience the opportunity to experience the investigation through the eyes of the detectives who worked the case.
Like most cases, it began with a phone call. Around noon on June 22, 2015, a complex manager was told there was something going on. She checked it out, then suddenly, it went from bad to worse. She arrived at the apartment just in time to see Kwame Carpenter leaving, knife in hand and covered with blood.
The audience heard the manager’s reaction on the phone with the dispatcher as she discovered the bloody bodies of Moureen Carpenter and Baby Kyan. Her reaction was heart wrenching. Tears began to flow from some members of the audience. It definitely was one of the most chilling 911 calls I’ve ever heard.
Redacted body camera footage showed the reactions of the first officers on the scene. They worked feverishly to save Baby Kyan. The patrol officers immediately started CPR. When they heard the paramedic sirens, the officers put the baby in a carrier and sprinted through the large complex to meet them.
It was too late. Baby Kyan was declared deceased. Mundy shared how one of the responding officers was just back from maternity leave with a newborn at home.
The desperate search for Kwame began in earnest. The audience got a first-person education about how big a team it takes to work a homicide. There were detectives writing a search warrant for the apartment, detectives at the hospital with the victim, forensics teams processing the home, others at the station doing background and working to figure out where Kwame might have fled.
The team worked throughout the afternoon and evening collecting evidence and most of all trying to track down Kwame. Eventually, in the wee hours, Mundy ordered his team to go home and get some rest. After a lot of foot dragging, they started for home.
Of course, the news media carried extensive coverage of the horrific crime. Kwame’s photo and a possible vehicle were broadcast throughout the day. At Fountain Valley Regional Hospital, where Kwame used to work, a security guard was concerned Kwame might for some reason go there. Using the information gleamed from the news media, the guard made a flyer and distributed it.
Surprisingly, the same security guard found him sleeping in his car in the hospital parking lot in the wee hours of the morning. Police responded and surrounded him. After getting everyone in place, they ordered him out. He drove over a median and crashed through police units. One officer fired his handgun as Kwame drove his car directly at him.
Kwame lead officers on a high-speed pursuit for nearly two miles with at least one tire flattened. He crashed into an innocent motorist and with his vehicle disabled, fled on foot. With officers closing in, Kwame ran into Mile Square Park in Fountain Valley. He headed straight into a pond and started to swim to an island.
Apparently, Kwame was not a good swimmer. He struggled but then appeared as if he is trying to drown himself. The encounter was captured by news photographer Brentt Sporn from Onscene.tv. His footage would be all over the news that night.
After a standoff, officers decided to send in a police K9. The K9 managed to drag Kwame to shore.
After being shot at, crashing, nearly drowning, bitten by a police K9 and tased, Kwame was taken into custody. Before he could be taken to the station for questioning, he had to be medically cleared.
Detectives had been working for more than 24 hours and were in desperate need of sleep. They headed home for a few hours of down time.
Twenty-eight hours after the crime occurred, it was time to come back in and begin the interview. This was the job of Duran. Over the next few hours, he moved Kamae through the crime, what led up to it, and how he did it. Kwame was remarkably cool and seemingly unfazed by what he had done. In his mind, he had an excuse.
It was an argument that started with an affair and a demand he move out. According to Kwame, Moureen provoked him. She just wouldn’t let him pack his stuff and leave. Then she got physical and assaulted him. That was the reason he snapped.
The team of detectives worked to put holes in any possible defense. Kwame could have left at any time during the four hours they were arguing. He was arrested and charged with a double homicide.
Three years and eight months after his arrest, Kwame Carpenter was found guilty and sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole.
“This was a horrific case. The image that is in everyone’s mind is the child crawling with a knife in his back,” said Orange County Superior Court Judge Richard M. King.
At the end of the presentation, Kyan’s grandmother, Miriam David, addressed the audience via video. Dressed in white, she appeared serene and at peace. A woman of deep faith, her words of forgiveness resonated with the audience. “For me I forgive and forget and that’s how the love comes to love Kwame.”