Daniel Callihan
Daniel Callihan

‘It runs in the family’: Man accused of kidnapping, killing has troubled history

TANGIPAHOA — Daniel Callihan, the man suspected of kidnapping two young girls and allegedly killing one of them, has a criminal history, according to court records. UWK has also learned that his father was sentenced to prison in the 90s.

Callihan was arrested in Mississippi on Thursday evening after an all-day manhunt across two states. Callihan, 36, from Amite, is accused of killing his former girlfriend, Callie Brunett, before kidnapping her two young daughters. The alleged kidnapping of Erin, 3, and Jalie, 6, triggered a statewide Amber Alert.

The body of 3-year-old Erin was found in a wooded area in Jackson, Mississippi. Her 6-year-old sister, Jalie, was found with Callihan, according to the TPSO.

Daniel Callihan, amber alert suspect arrested

READ MORE: Signs of human trafficking found where local 4-year-old girl found dead in Mississippi; suspect arrested

“He was in a neighborhood in Jackson (Mississippi) pulling on doors, and someone made a call to the police. An undercover officer in the area responded, saw the suspect, and initiated a pursuit. After the pursuit, the officer learned who the suspect was. After he was taken into custody, his car was located, and the 6-year-old was found unharmed inside. Her 3-year-old sister was found deceased in an adjacent wooded area,” TPSO Chief Deputy Jimmy Travis said.

Criminal History for Daniel Callihan 2009: Simple burglary & theft

UWK has learned that Callihan has a history of burglary. In 2009, he was convicted of three counts of simple burglary in Tangipahoa, all felonies.

Initially, he was put on probation, but it was soon revoked, and he was sentenced to five years in prison. Around the same time, he was charged with introducing contraband into the prison. Reportedly, while in the Amite City jail, another inmate gave him a suboxone strip, so the charge was later rejected.

Also in 2009, Callihan was arrested for stealing something from his mother, but she later dropped the charges against him.

2006: Improper telephone communication

In 2006, three years prior, Callihan was charged with improper telephone communication in Tangipahoa, a misdemeanor offense. Given the charge is 18 years old, few details were readily available into the charge.

‘It runs in the family’

In addition to the criminal history for Daniel Callihan, UWK has learned that Callihan’s father was also sentenced to 21 years in prison for manslaughter in the 1990s.

Kelly Wayne Drott, from Amite, was serving a 21-year sentence for manslaughter in New Orleans for the death of 19-year-old Denham Springs woman, Rebecca A. Forbes. She was at the Italian Festival in April 1990 when she met Kelly Drott at the festival. That was the last time Forbes was seen alive. Three weeks later, Forbes decomposed body was found along the banks of a river in Tangipahoa Parish.

Drott was questioned about it but told detectives that he had last seen Forbes around 10 p.m. that night. However, police found blood spots in his car that matched Forbes blood. It’s why he was arrested, convicted and sentenced to 21 years behind bars.

Forbes mother Bootsie Forbes Firmin tells UWK the recent arrest of Drott’s son has brought back everything that happened to her baby girl 34 years ago.

“I’m the type of person that lives in this world that has no anger in my heart. There’s no words to describe what it is to have people like this do the things that they do because I grew up in a wonderful, wonderful home and we don’t know this kind of heartache until it happens to us personally and then we don’t know how to accept it and describe it to someone else because I don’t know what it is to have that kind of hate in my heart to murder someone. I don’t know what to say,” said Forbes Firmin.

While serving time for Forbes’ murder, a woman helped Drott escape from prison, Robin Duvall. During their escape, the duo kidnapped a 17-year-old from a convenience store at gunpoint before Drott shot Duvall in the face.

Drott then took the teen and fled to Arkansas. The teen was reportedly forced to drive during a wild police chase before purposely crashing the car into a ditch. Drott reportedly shot himself before he could be arrested. He was flown to a Memphis hospital in critical condition, but died from his injuries.

An investigator close to the Callihan investigation told UWK that his troubled past, “…runs in the family.”

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