Father of baby found dead in woods arrested on probation violation

By: Chris Jose

Updated:

NEWTON COUNTY, Ga. - The father of a 2-week-old infant found dead has been named as a person of interest.

Volunteer search crews said they found the body of Caliyah McNabb in the woods in a duffel bag on Sunday. Channel 2's Chris Jose was the only reporter on the scene when search volunteers made the discovery.

We're talking to investigators about whether he could face additional charges, for updates throughout the day on Channel 2 Action News.

Jose was told to step back from the wooded area, as it quickly turned into a crime scene.

The Newton County sheriff said the child's father, Chris McNabb, jumped out of a car and ran away Sunday afternoon after Caliyah's body was found. He was found several hours later after someone recognized him at a convenience store.

The woman told Jose McNabb appeared agitated.

"He said "It's gonna look really bad for somebody when they realize they're after the wrong one." And I thought oh my god because I was scared then," said convenience store clerk Julie Hannah.

McNabb was arrested on a probation violation out of Bartow County Sunday evening. Investigators said that until they can find probable cause, McNabb is only a person of interest in his daughter's death.

The baby's mother was taken in for questioning. She is not considered a suspect or person of interest. 

Authorities had searched Saturday for the missing child in Newton County.

The baby's parents called 911 when they noticed she was missing around 10 a.m. They told investigators she was fed at 5 a.m. and she was gone when they woke up.

Family members gave Jose a photo of the child.

Newton County sheriff's deputies and search dogs were on the scene at the Eagle Point trailer park in Covington. The search grid was a two-mile radius.

"I want my kid back, man. That's my child, man. I want my kid!" Christopher McNabb said.

Jose spoke with family members outside the home on Saturday.

"She was so tiny. So innocent," said Caliyah's grandfather, Tim Bell.


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The sheriff's office said Caliyah's disappearance was suspicious.

"Fifteen-day-old child obviously didn't leave by themselves," said Keith Crum with the Newton County Sheriff's Office.

"It started out as a missing child, but we treat it as a potential homicide, kidnapping," Crum said.

At the time, family members said they did not understand how it could have been a disappearance.

"She's just a little baby. Stuff like this ain't supposed to happen," Bell said.

Jose spoke to Bell again Monday, who said he still has a lot of questions.

“All of you viewers, do not forget she was 2 weeks old, when y'all feel sympathy for the mother and father, at the end of the day, they were parents. they knew right from wrong,” Bell said.

The Sheriff's Office suspended their search around 8:30 p.m. Saturday.

 

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