Abducted Girl, 4, Found Dead in Woods Alongside Injured Sister, 6, After Man Is Arrested Over Death of their Mom

Police said Daniel Callihan was arrested for allegedly “committing brutal and heinous acts of violence” in the murders of a mother and her daughter

A man has been arrested after police allege he murdered a 35-year-old mother and her 4-year-old daughter.

The Tangipahoa Parish Sheriff's Office in Louisiana shared on social media that officers arrested Daniel Callihan, 36, on Thursday, June 15, for allegedly “committing brutal and heinous acts of violence” in the murders of Callie Brunett, 35, and her daughter, Erin, 4.

"Our hearts are with all those affected by this tragic event. These are unspeakable crimes,"  Tangipahoa Parish Sheriff Daniel Edwards said in a statement. "We ask everyone to keep Callie's family in your prayers."

<p>Tangipahoa Parish Sheriff's Office</p>

Tangipahoa Parish Sheriff's Office

Jackson Police Chief Joseph Wade said in a press conference that an amber alert had been issued on June 13 for two young children. Tangipahoa Parish Sheriff’s Office Chief Jimmy Travis said, per CNN, that the alert was issued after Brunett was found dead in her Loranger home and her two children missing. 

Wade said Jackson police officers, along with U.S. Marshals, eventually located Callihan in Jackson, Mississippi — located two hours from Tangipahoa — in a wooded area behind a house, and “after a short pursuit” took him into custody.

Wade noted that Jackson police officers searched the area where he was found and they “located a deceased child in the woods” — identified as 4-year-old Erin. He described the scene of the crime as a “very traumatic” and “very tragic” one.

“... You don’t want to see that. As a father, to see this baby on the ground that has lost her life," Wade said at the press conference, per local Fox affiliate WVUE-TV. “This is an innocent 4-year-old child that’s no longer with us because of the actions of a coward.”

Wade shared that officers were still trying to determine the 4-year-old’s “manner of death.” As for the other child — a 6-year-old girl — he said that she was also located and “taken to the hospital to receive treatment” for injuries.

He also noted that there had been signs of “some human trafficking done” in the wooded location where the girls were found, per CNN. “We’re going to work this crime scene with a scalpel. It’s going to take a long time to process it,” Wade shared, per the outlet.

Travis said that investigators believe Callihan and Brunett had dated “off and on." Prior to his arrest, Callihan was wanted for questioning "for a domestic violence incident, which occurred at the time of the abduction and resulted in a homicide,” according to CNN.

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Police said they did not yet have a motive for the alleged abduction and killings. Travis noted, per the outlet, that their next step is to interview Callihan and the 6-year-old child that was found alive.

The Tangipahoa Parish Sheriff’s Office and Jackson Police Department did not immediately respond to PEOPLE's request for comment.

The Jackson Police Department also asked during the news conference that anyone with information related to the case come forward and contact their department at (601) 960-1234.

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