KANSAS CITY, MO (KCTV) -- Suspended Chiefs receiver Tyreek Hill will not face any criminal charges.
A police investigation into what happened to his 3-year-old son is now officially closed.
This has been a dark cloud of uncertainty that’s been hanging over Hill and the Kansas City Chiefs for months.
The NFL has been waiting to hear what the prosecutor would do, and the Chiefs have been waiting for word from the NFL. So, this has a domino effect and it plays out in Hill’s favor.
Hill was been suspended from all team-related activities after audio surfaced in which he discusses abusing his son. Hill also told his fiancee, Crystal Espinal, that she should be "terrified" of him during an 11-minute discussion that took place in a Dubai airport.
The audio surfaced one day after prosecutors declined to press charges against Hill following a domestic violence investigation. They said at the time that they were convinced a crime had occurred, but were unable to determine whether it was Hill or Espinal that hurt their son.
Johnson County District Attorney Steve Howe reopened the case after receiving the audio from KCTV5 News. Howe says he believes a crime was committed, but this is not a case he can bring to court.
KCTV5’s investigative department was sent a recording of Tyreek Hill and his fiancé discussing the police investigation and what they are telling police.
"A child has been hurt. As a prosecutor and a father of four kids, yes it frustrates me when someone hurts a child and you can't do anything about it,” he said in his April 24 news conference.
Others close to the investigation tell KCTV5 this case has been plagued by a lack of cooperation from those close to the child. Police received anonymous information but few wanted to be on the record and testify against the NFL superstar.
Hill is a convicted abuser drafted by the Chiefs and then-GM John Dorsey despite numerous red flags.
He had been kicked off the team at Oklahoma State after punching and choking Espinal while she was pregnant, and many teams said off the record that the incident caused them to take Hill off their draft boards altogether.
In a late-night news conference, Kansas City Chiefs General Manager Brett Veach said the organization was “deeply disturbed” by recordings of Tyreek Hill and his fiance released by KCTV5 News Thursday.
Hill and Espinal would later reconnect and even get engaged. The young family was a story of redemption and second chances until it crashed.
The DCF and criminal investigation was conducted in a harsh public spotlight, and the parents drifted in and out of court hearings, eventually losing custody.
KCTV5 News has confirmed with multiple sources that Hill temporarily lost custody of his child, pending further court action.
Audio of a recorded conversation between the parents sheds light on the difficult task facing investigators in this case. Espinal accuses Hill of breaking their son’s arm and other abusive behavior but also tells him she’s been covering for him with investigators.
Hill’s lawyer sent a letter to the NFL stating the Chiefs player “categorically denies” punching his young son in the chest and reiterates that he was not involved when the child’s arm was broken. The letter, drafted by attorney N. Trey Pettlon, made numerous references to insinuations made by Espinal in a recorded conversation that was first uncovered by KCTV5.
A letter sent to the NFL by an attorney for Tyreek Hill states the Chiefs player “categorically denies” punching his young son in the chest and reiterates that he was not involved when the child’s arm was broken.
The letter also claims this text message exchange was uncovered on Hill’s cell phone:
Hill: “Crystal, you know I didn’t cause any bruising or harm to [our son,] But for some reason I still may be charged.”
Espinal: “I know you didn’t. I did. I hurt [our son] I’m the one that did it. I was hurt and mad at you so I blamed you for everything.”
In the end, you have a little boy who is injured, leaked audio that paints both parents in a poor light and then text messages that completely conflict what the boy and his mother say.
A lack of cooperation in domestic violence cases is common. Victims are scared and fear losing what little emotional and financial stability they may have.
There are new accusations against Chiefs All-Pro wide receiver Tyreek Hill who is the target of two investigations into allegations of child abuse.
And this case appears to be no different. It’s just that the stakes were higher with a football player on the verge of a record-breaking contract and his fiancee pregnant with twins. The truth is criminal charges would devastate both parents.
For now, the DCF investigation continues, meaning goals shift from accountability and possible criminal charges to counseling, support and eventually reunification. Evidence of that is already underway as Hill posted a video of him playing with his son just this week.
Espinal is due to have the twins any day, and she remains separated from Hill.