Skip to Content

Abducted Louisiana child found dead and her sister injured after a suspect in their mother’s killing was arrested, authorities say


By Jamiel Lynch and Elizabeth Wolfe, CNN

(CNN) — A Louisiana man was arrested Thursday after a 35-year-old mother was found dead and her two abducted daughters were later discovered in Mississippi – one dead and the other alive – in what investigators say may be a human trafficking case.

The suspect, 36-year-old Daniel Callihan, is accused of “committing brutal and heinous acts of violence,” including the killings of Callie Brunett and her 4-year-old daughter, said the sheriff’s office in Tangipahoa Parish, just north of New Orleans.

Jackson investigators said the wooded neighborhood where the girls were found showed signs the location could have been used for human trafficking, including small animal cages.

“Our hearts are with all those affected by this tragic event. These are unspeakable crimes,” parish Sheriff Daniel Edwards said in a social media post. “We ask everyone to keep Callie’s family in your prayers.”

Earlier Thursday, an Amber Alert was issued for Brunett’s abducted daughters, ages 4 and 6, after the mother was found dead in her home, according to Tangipahoa Parish Sheriff’s Office Chief Jimmy Travis.

After hours of searching, law enforcement in Jackson, Mississippi – about a 2-hour drive from Tangipahoa – tracked down the suspect and found a “tragic scene,” Jackson Police Chief Joseph Wade said.

After a short pursuit, Callihan was arrested in a wooded area near a house and the 4-year-old’s body was found unburied in the woods behind the home, according to Wade. The other sister was found injured and was taken to a hospital.

“It’s very, very disturbing to me as a police chief and as a father to witness and see what I just saw,” Wade said of the scene.

Due to signs of “some human trafficking done” at the location, Jackson authorities have reached out to human trafficking divisions with the Mississippi Bureau of Investigation and Hinds County, Wade said.

“We’re going to work this crime scene with a scalpel,” he said. “It’s going to take a long time to process it.”

Many questions still remain, Wade said, including why Callihan allegedly took the children to Jackson and why the child was killed.

Though Callihan had yet to be interviewed Thursday evening, investigators believe the suspect lives in Louisiana and had dated Brunett “off and on,” Travis said. When the Amber Alert was issued Thursday, it said a man, later identified as Callihan, was wanted “for questioning for a domestic violence incident, which occurred at the time of the abduction and resulted in a homicide.”

Investigators’ top priority will be to interview Callihan and care for the surviving 6-year-old victim, Travis said.

“She’s been through something that most of us, hopefully, never ever get to experience. And she is going to have to spend the rest of her life living with this,” the chief said.

CNN has reached out to the Jackson Police Department and the Tangipahoa Parish Sheriff’s Office for more information.

™ & © 2024 Cable News Network, Inc., a Warner Bros. Discovery Company. All rights reserved.

Article Topic Follows: CNN - National

Jump to comments ↓



KTVZ NewsChannel 21 is committed to providing a forum for civil and constructive conversation.

Please keep your comments respectful and relevant. You can review our Community Guidelines by clicking here

If you would like to share a story idea, please submit it here.

Skip to content