Officials: Mother of abducted child found dead in Mississippi woods likely died from numerous stabbings

Published 4:10 pm Monday, June 17, 2024

The mother of two girls who were abducted and taken to Mississippi likely died of injuries from numerous stab wounds to her head, neck, chest, abdomen, and back.

Officials from the Tangipahoa Parish Coroner’s office in Louisiana released the preliminary cause of death for Callie Brunett, reporting that the 35-year-old woman died from “multiple sharp force injuries.”

Brunett’s lifeless body was discovered by her father on the floor of her locked mobile home on North Cooper Road, 24 hours after her parents had reported her missing.

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The primary suspect in the case, 36-year-old Daniel Callihan, is believed to have killed Brunett and then abducted the two children, one of which — a 4-year-old girl — was found dead in a wooded area off Boozier Drive in Jackson. Her 6-year-old sister, Jalie Brunett, was taken to a Jackson hospital for treatment.

Investigators believe Callihan and Brunett had previously dated.

Callihan and 32-year-old Victoria Cox were later arrested in Jackson, Mississippi, where the face multiple charges, including capital murder and sexual battery. Jackson Police Chief Joseph Wade announced that Callihan implicated Cox in the crimes. Both suspects are facing additional charges in Tangipahoa Parish and federal charges.

Cox appeared in court on Monday, June 17, where she was denied bond on the capital murder charge and given a $500,000 bond on the sexual battery charge. Callihan has yet to make his initial court appearance.

The Jackson police chief said there was evidence of possible human trafficking at the location on Boozier Drive, including small animal cages. Wade said Jackson police have contacted the Human Trafficking Divisions of the Mississippi Bureau of Investigation (MBI) and Hinds County to assess the scene.