Tangipahoa Parish Sheriff Daniel Edwards has voiced strong criticism over the delay in issuing an AMBER Alert in the wake of a heinous crime that has shocked the state of Louisiana and parts of the Gulf Coast region. The incident involved the brutal murder of 35-year-old Callie Brunett and her four-year-old daughter, Erin Brunett, in Loranger, LA.

Authorities apprehended the suspect, 36-year-old Daniel Callihan, in Jackson, Mississippi, on Thursday evening (June 13).

The tragic events began to unfold when Callie Brunett’s father discovered her body and found her two daughters missing on Thursday morning. According to FOX 8, his discovery triggered a desperate search for the missing children, leading to the issuance of an AMBER Alert. However, Sheriff Edwards expressed his frustration over the more than three-hour delay in the alert being issued after his office requested it.

“I can tell you, being frustrated, I reached out to the Louisiana Sheriff’s Association Executive Director. I called him and said this was unacceptable,” Sheriff Edwards said. “Within five minutes of my call, the AMBER Alert was issued. What caused the delay, I can’t say. But it was very frustrating for us and surely very frustrating for the family.”

The investigation escalated quickly, with U.S. Marshals discovering Erin’s body in a wooded area in South Jackson, approximately 30 yards behind a house. Erin’s six-year-old sister was found injured but alive in a car nearby and was promptly taken to a Jackson hospital, where her grandparents met her.

Jackson Police Chief Joseph Wade condemned Callihan, repeatedly calling him a “coward” for the murders. “This is an innocent 4-year-old child who lost her life because of the actions of a coward,” Chief Wade said. He described the crime scene as “horrible” and “tragic,” revealing that the area where the girls were found showed signs of being used for human trafficking, including the presence of small animal cages.

Sheriff Edwards noted that Callihan had a prior relationship with Callie Brunett, stating, “The suspect, Daniel Callihan, knew this family. He was not a complete stranger. What would lead him to kill Callie and abduct the children, I simply can’t say.”

Authorities are now searching for a possible female accomplice. Chief Wade urged the public to support the family and the police department as they continue to investigate the motives behind these heinous crimes.

Stacy Pearson, former Louisiana AMBER Alert coordinator with the Louisiana State Police, explained that issuing an AMBER Alert typically takes about three hours from the time the information is received. She emphasized that the system is one of many tools law enforcement uses in child abduction emergencies.

Tangipahoa Parish Sheriff’s Department shared a heartfelt message on their Facebook page, expressing their condolences and gratitude to all the agencies and citizens who assisted in the investigation. “Our hearts are with all those affected by this tragic event. These are unspeakable crimes,” Sheriff Edwards said.

Authorities urge anyone with information to contact Lt. Jacob Schwebel at 985-902-2037 or Crime Stoppers of Tangipahoa at 1-800-554-5245.

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