U.S. Marshals arrest man, find dead child and her sister after Louisiana mother killed

UPI
Daniel Callihan, 36, was arrested by U.S. Marshals on Thursday in connection to the death of a Photo courtesy of Tangipahoa Parish Sheriff's Office/Facebook

June 14 (UPI) -- U.S. Marshals have arrested a 36-year-old man in Mississippi, where two children of a woman killed in Louisiana were found, one alive and the other dead, authorities said.

Daniel Callihan was arrested Thursday afternoon in Jackson after giving law enforcement a short pursuit, Jackson Police Chief Joseph Wade said in a press conference.

He was found hours after an Amber Alert had been issued by Louisiana State Police for Jalie and Erin Brunette, ages 6 and 4, respectively, who were reported missing.

According to authorities, the alert was issued after the body of the girls' mother, Callie Brunett, 35, was found dead in the bedroom of her Loranger, La., home. Though the cause was to be determined by the coroner, authorities believe she was killed.

Sheriff Jimmy Travis of Tangipahoa Parish told reporters during an earlier press conference Thursday that her body was found by her father who visited the residence after Callie Brunett had not been heard from since Tuesday.

Her children and car were missing, he said.

The amber alert said an "unknown white male" was wanted for questioning "for a domestic violence incident, which occurred at the time of the abduction and resulted in a homicide."

Travis later said Callihan lives in Louisiana and that they believe he had dated Callie Brunett "on and off."

Wade said the crime scene of a house and the nearby wooded area where the children were found was "tragic" and "very, very disturbing." Erin Brunette was found dead close to her older sister who was transported to a local hospital for treatment.

He accused Callihan of having tried to "do away with the children by taking them into the woods" when law enforcement was closing in on him.

The Mississippi Bureau of Investigation's human trafficking division has been called to investigate, he said.

"Based on the crime scene, what it looks like, this may be a location where there has been some human trafficking done," he said. "We see cages, small animal cages, it's very, very disturbing to me as a police chief and as a father to witness and see what I just saw."

The connection between the location and Callihan was not entirely clear, but he believes the suspect trafficked potentially abducted children there, and that they will search the woods for further remains.

"We don't know if there's other children in the woods. We don't know if there's other remains in the woods. We don't know, but we're going to find out," he said, adding that they are going to work the crime scene with a "scalpel" to ensure Callihan and any other potential accomplices are held to account.

"We want to make sure we have that evidence to make sure him and whoever else is prosecuted for this heinous, heinous terrible act," he said.