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'It scarred me a little bit:' Tangipahoa Parish residents reflect after tragedy strikes small town

3 weeks 6 days 8 hours ago Monday, June 17 2024 Jun 17, 2024 June 17, 2024 10:11 PM June 17, 2024 in News
Source: WBRZ

AMITE - WBRZ is learning more about accused killer Daniel Callihan from the people in the small community of Amite, where he reportedly lived before he was arrested for murder. 

One Amite resident said Callihan lived under a bridge under LA-16 and Thomas Road. They said he frequently walked to the Quickway convenience store, just a mile down the road from where he stayed. A store employee says she remembers Callihan shopping and not saying very much. 

“I recognized him from the newspaper article,” the employee said. “From what everyone’s saying he’s just kind of weird.”

Callihan's name made headlines Thursday afternoon when he was pulled out of the woods in Jackson, Mississippi by U.S. Marshals. Behind the trees, law enforcement found the body of 4-year-old Erin Brunett. 

According to reports, Callihan killed Erin's mother, Callie Brunett, in her Loranger home on Wednesday. He stole Callie's car, Erin and her 6-year-old sister Jalie and took off with Victoria Cox. Both Callihan and Cox were arrested for capital murder and sexual battery in Mississippi and are awaiting charges in Tangipahoa Parish. Jalie survived and was taken to a hospital before being reunited with her grandparents. 

The tragedy shocked the small town. WBRZ spoke to residents who said they knew the Brunett family well, getting emotional when talking about Callie and Erin’s deaths. 

A young boy said he rode the school bus with Jalie. He says she was always quick to say hello as his classmates packed the bus.

“It hurts me to hear that the mom had to die,” he said. “It scarred me a little bit.”

At a court hearing on Monday, a judge in Mississippi did not set a bond amount for Victoria Cox on the homicide charge. Bond was set at $500,000 for the sexual battery count.

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