Daniel Callihan, amber alert suspect arrested
Daniel Callihan, amber alert suspect arrested

‘He’s demonic’ | Daniel Callihan’s sister recalls his troubled past & allegations he killed previously

BOGUE CHITTO — The sister of the man arrested for killing a mother before kidnapping her two daughters and killing one of them in Mississippi, Daniel Callihan, is speaking out. She claims she sounded the alarm a couple of years ago that her brother had killed someone, but no one helped him.

Dixie Hemphill, 33, spoke to UWK about the troubled upbringing she, her brother Daniel Callihan, and their younger sister reportedly had. She delved into his diagnosis of schizophrenia and hallucinations, explaining why she feels that “he’s just a demonic person.”

At 36 years old, Callihan has lived a dark life with several twists and turns including being in and out of jail, a halfway house and living on his own until he could no longer make ends meet and became homeless. His criminal past and sister paint a picture of a man who gradually escalated his crimes before resorting to a double murder, kidnapping and sexual battery arrest.

“My mom messed up my brother always telling him he was gonna be a killer just like his daddy and stuff. She’s just awful, but Daniel is his own person. He is his own man. He knows what he was doing. He knows right from wrong. I’m trying to tell you,” said Hemphill.   

Callihan’s troubled past growing up

Callihan was born Sept. 13, 1987. He is the oldest of three siblings, all half siblings with the same mom. One of his younger sisters, Dixie Hemphill explained their traumatic upbringing, including molestation by a family member. She said Callihan has been troubled since birth and often chose women who reminded him of their mother.

“Because the girls that he picks to do this kind of stuff to, I hate to say this, but it’s true, it’s women that represent our mom. Our mom, she was a piece of crap, and she still is. She moved us from home to home, from guy to guy. We went to like 12 schools in one year. It was ridiculous.”

Hemphill says their younger sister was the brother’s keeper for a long time. Hemphill recalls Callihan being in jail when they were young adults, then in a halfway house in Amite, Louisiana until the younger sister signed him out. He spent a good amount of time in Brookhaven, MS where he lived in a trailer park in 2016. But when he could no longer pay rent and allegedly threatened the landlord, Hemphill says he was kicked out and became homeless.  

Hemphill admits she did not want Callihan back at her home. She told UWK that he was diagnosed with hallucinations and schizophrenia.

“He was in three rehabs in the past two years,” Hemphill said. “Okay, not rehabs, but mental homes that he put himself in. Basically, he did try to get help. I give him that. But the thing is, is my brother didn’t have nowhere to go. He was just, he just needed somewhere to sleep. That’s the reason he was doing that because at this point, he went to these mental homes.”

Daniel Callihan sister: ‘He’s just a demonic person’

Callihan, 36, became homeless around Christmas 2021, prompting Hemphill and her sister to step in and help. Hemphill offered Callihan a trailer on her property in Bogue Chitto, Mississippi.

“Maybe I can give my brother a fresh start again, because I’ve tried this before like seven or eight years prior. I moved him in with me back then and he just instantly started trying to get my baby daddy to hook up with other women, and just went and did stuff behind my back, you know?”

Callihan is three years older than her, and she tells UWK there’s a reason she distanced herself from him.

“Me and Daniel was split from the age of when I was nine until I was 18. Basically, when we had gotten taken, we had all got separated. So anyways, I told him, ‘Look, you can come stay over at this trailer, but you have to get up in the morning and you have to go find a job. You have to work and you have to provide for yourself. You got free rent and all that over here and we’ll, keep the lights on and all that until you start getting your checks in’,” she said.

During that stay, Hemphill says Callihan dug a “big hole” in the woods and allegedly suggested it was for her boyfriend, the father of her son.

“Did I ever think for a second that my brother was gonna ask me if he could kill my baby daddy so he could have the woods and have my house? No, and I didn’t really take him seriously either when he said it, but when he did mention it to me a couple of times, I was like, ‘I don’t want my baby daddy to die.’ I was like, ‘There’s no way I could live with that, and also my kids would be devastated.’ I was like, ‘I can’t let you do that.’ He was like, ‘Oh, I was just joking’.”

Hemphill recalls a very cold night when Callihan asked to sleep on her enclosed back porch instead of the trailer. That night, she heard him crying loudly in his sleep.

“I heard crying, like it was devastating, crying, like it couldn’t have been fake. He was asleep, but he was having a nightmare, like he was kind of jerking, but he was crying, you know? I grabbed a broom and I poked him with it and he jumped up out of his sleep. He scared the mess out of me, okay? And he just broke down. And he was like, ‘Sissy, I messed up. I can’t stop having these night terrors.’ And I’m like, ‘Why are you having night terrors?’ He says, ‘I can’t tell you. I think I messed up.’ He was like, ‘It didn’t bother me at first but I can’t stop with the night terrors’.”

‘I killed this man, sissy’

His sister told UWK that Daniel Callihan finally confessed to allegedly killing a man around early 2022.

“He was like, ‘I killed this man, sissy.’ And I was like, ‘What man?’ So at that point, I figured if I acted kind of cool about the situation, he would tell me more. I was like, ‘So you really killed someone?’ I was like, ‘That’s wild.’ He was like, ‘I mean, he deserved it. Don’t get me wrong.’ He was like, ‘But dude, I didn’t think I was gonna have night terrors like this’.”

She says she remembers trying to ask who the man was and all she got out of her brother was that it was someone from the “other side of Bogue Chitto.” She says she went back inside her home and started to piece together the conversation she had just had.

“So instantly, I’m like, ‘Oh God, is he telling the truth or is he playing me?’ And I didn’t think for a second that he was playing me because that was pretty freaking real. And I know he breaks into houses and I know everybody that comes in his life, he messes over. He’s just a demonic person,” Hemphill told UWK.

A few days later, she says the family was sitting outside around a bonfire when the song “Murder on my mind” came on.

“My brother was hanging from a tree over a fire. I’m not joking you. And he said, ‘Yeah, that’s why Estes got what he got.’ Instantly, I froze, and I turned to my baby daddy, and he turned and looked at me, and I kind of looked at him, and I said, ‘Oh, my stomach hurts, I gotta go inside to use the bathroom.’ I Googled missing man and Bogue Chitto and I’m not kidding, my whole life was in shock. It came up to find Jonathan Paul Estes and then a missing man.”

Daniel Callihan sister: ‘This could have been prevented’

Hemphill claims she tried to turn in her brother to multiple law enforcement agencies, but they dismissed her as a “basket case and crazy.” The Mississippi Bureau of Investigations (MBI) told her they needed physical evidence.

“I’m like, my brother’s ready to turn himself in as long as y’all take him to the FBI so he can tell about this missing man thing that he has something to do with killing. He texts me back, and he says, ‘Tell him I’ll pick him up tomorrow at 12 o’clock.’ And I’m like, ‘Really? Is that how this works?’ I’m like, ‘Y’all have fugitives on the run, and when they’re ready to turn themselves in, you just don’t get them till tomorrow at 12, right?’ Like that just sounded weird. So then he ended up threatening me and telling me he could put me in jail for feeding a fugitive and all this stuff. I said, ‘Look, my brother has been supposedly wanted for seven freaking months, and Lincoln County will not have him picked up’.”

The sister says her warnings that Daniel Callihan would continue his behavior went unheard. She eventually cut him out of her life. Then, on June 12, he contacted her via Facebook for an “emergency”, claiming to need money for a flat tire. Hemphill suspected he was lying, as he didn’t own a car,but he told her that he was borrowing a friend’s car. He also told her that Victoria Cox, the woman charged alongside him for murder, was bringing him a jack and to send her money to buy the tool.

Hemphill says Callihan told her he was in Lacombe. But when she was messaging with Cox, she told Hemphill that she was headed to meet Callihan in McComb, MS. Hemphill says she refused to answer any of her brother’s calls through Facebook because she did not want to fall for his “games” again. Now though, she asks herself had she answered, could it have saved the little girl’s life. 

On Thursday morning, Hemphill saw news about Callie Brunett’s murder and the kidnapping of her daughters. She immediately called the Tangipahoa Parish Sheriff, reporting that her brother was in McComb.

“At this very moment, I’m blank. I burst out in tears, and then I’m angry, and then I start laughing, and then I’m angry, and then I start crying. And I know people are tired of hearing me talk about it, but I’m so freaking angry because this, you don’t understand, this could have been prevented if nothing has ever been able to be prevented before in my life, this could have been prevented,” she said.

UWK reached out to the Mississippi Bureau of Investigations for comment in regards to the Jonathan Estes case and Callihan’s alleged involvement. 

“The Mississippi Bureau of Investigation (MBI) reviewed the statements and reports submitted by the sister of Daniel Callihan regarding his connection to a missing person in 2018. This is an open investigation and MBI is still seeking evidence corroborating Callihan’s involvement. Anyone with any information can submit it to MBITIPS@dps.ms.gov.” 

MS Bureau of Investigations

Callihan is now locked up in a jail in Mississippi awaiting a first appearance and whether a bond will be set or not. He will then have to be extradited to Louisiana to begin facing charges in Louisiana, where he’s looking at murder for Callie Brunet among other charges. His accomplice, Victoria Cox was denied bond for the murder charge and a $500,000 bond has been set for the sexual battery charge.

Download the Unfiltered with Kiran app from the Apple App Store and Google Play to stay updated on the latest news across the Capital area. 

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