The law enforcement investigation into Kansas City Chiefs wide receiver Tyreek Hill for suspicions of child abuse is closed, a local prosecutor told the Kansas City Star.
“It is not an active investigation,” Steve Howe, district attorney in Johnson County, Kan., said in an email Friday morning to the Star. “As in any case, if we receive additional evidence, we reevaluate.”
Howe had announced the closure of the investigation April 24 at a news conference in which he said he believed Hill’s 3-year-old son has been the victim of abuse, but authorities couldn’t determine whether Hill or his fiancee was responsible. A day later, a local television station aired a recording in which Hill’s fiancee, Crystal Espinal, accused him of punching their son, which Hill denied.
It’s unclear whether law enforcement ever reopened the investigation as a result of the airing of the recording. At a news conference after the recording’s release, Chiefs Coach Andy Reid said he believed police and prosecutors had reopened the probe, but authorities never confirmed that, and Howe did not respond to a question from the Star on that point.
Howe did not reply to The Washington Post’s request to comment Friday afternoon.
The investigation stemmed from two incidents in March in which police were called to the suburban Kansas City home that Hill, 25, shares with Espinal, 24. Police reports don’t detail the specifics of the alleged act, and Howe, at his April 24 news conference, did not describe the nature of the abuse that authorities had investigated.
“We believe that a crime has occurred. However, the evidence in this case does not conclusively establish who committed this crime,” Howe said then. “It bothers us when we see something like this happen to a child . . . and there’s nothing we can do about it.”
Hill and his fiancee remain the subjects of an ongoing investigation by state child welfare authorities, and the NFL is investigating and could levy severe punishment for a violation of the league’s personal conduct policy. Hill has been suspended since late April, shortly after the release of the recording.
A two-time all-pro who has established himself in four seasons as one of the NFL’s most talented and productive wide receivers, Hill was poised to sign a massive contract extension before news of the child abuse investigation broke in March. In college, Hill was kicked off Oklahoma State’s football team after a 2014 arrest for punching and choking Espinal, who was eight weeks pregnant with their son at the time. He later pleaded guilty to domestic assault and battery.