Couple accused in killings brought back to Charlotte to face charges

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Channel 9 has learned the couple accused of kidnapping an 11-year-old girl and killing her grandparents has arrived back in Charlotte.

Police said Nikkia Cooper and Curtis Atkinson Jr. were booked into the Mecklenburg County Jail around 6:15 a.m. Thursday. They were extradited from Washington D.C. overnight.

Authorities said the pair killed Atkinson's parents inside their home on Glencannon Drive in east Charlotte. The pair is then accused of kidnapping Arieyana Forney before being caught in Washington.

[PAST COVERAGE: Sources: Kidnapped girl may have witnessed grandparents' murders]

Atkinson had been charged with murder and on Wednesday, police charged Cooper with the murders as well.

(Nikkia Cooper)

Cooper already faced drug and kidnapping charges after police in Washington, D.C., found her in the car Sunday night with Atkinson Jr. and his niece, Arieyana Forney.

"Both Mr. Atkinson and Ms. Cooper were both interviewed by D.C. police. Arieyana was interviewed by a child interviewer with the FBI," said Charlotte-Mecklenburg Maj. Cameron Selvey.

(Curtis Atkinson, Jr.)

Officers also confirmed that Cooper was the one who called 911 inside the car and said that she had been kidnapped. The 911 call helped lead police to the Chevrolet Impala that was wanted in the case.

(Arieyana Forney, Ruby Atkinson, Curtis Atkinson Sr.)

Family members told Channel 9 that the couple loved God and cherished their granddaughter. They said they have no idea what led to the tragedy.

[RELATED: Woman says sister is innocent in crime connected to double homicide, kidnapping]

Channel 9 spoke to Cooper’s sister, Nika Dorsey, on Tuesday. She said she believes Cooper was kidnapped herself, and that she could not have been involved in the killings.

Police have not given a motive in the case, but expressed gratitude that Arieyana is alive.

"I think she was at grave risk," Selvey said. "I think we are fortunate she was recovered alive and well."

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