Trigger warning: The story contains details of murder that might be distressing to some readers.
Standing in front of cameras and reporters, a father named Caleb Michael Whisnand, 32, was seen sobbing in front of the public at a press conference. Next to him was Angela Nicole Gardner, the mother of his child, who also seemed distraught as Caleb begged for his missing baby’s safe return.
“It would mean everything to us. The family ain’t the same without family, that’s for sure. It’s been taking a toll on everybody,” Caleb told reports during the press conference, according to PEOPLE.
While speaking to reporters about how his son went missing, Caleb said: “I don’t remember a lot, but I did remember I was breaking up, ya know, with the cops. If anybody’s got anything, any places that I could have gone, you know who you are.”
“Please, find him please,” Angela added.
As the child’s mother tried to explain what happened, she revealed that their 5-week-old baby, Caleb “CJ” Whisnand Jr., was with his father on the day he went missing while she was at home with her other 2-year-old child, according to WSFA.
“He went to go pay gas at the gas station and realized he was gone. He let the police know, and me know, that he was missing,” the mother said, as quoted by AL.com.
Just hours after the father and mother stood in front of cameras looking heartbroken over the infant’s missing, Caleb was arrested and charged in connection with the baby’s murder.
According to the Daily Mail, the baby’s body was found buried in a wooded area. Police officers believe that Caleb murdered his son between 3:45 and 5:30 pm on Monday, May 10. He then buried his son’s body in an isolated area and made the call to the police himself to report that his son was missing.
Hours after begging for his son’s return at the press conference held on Wednesday, the father was charged with manslaughter over CJ’s death. However, the charges are likely to be upgraded to capital murder.
The baby’s grandmother, Margaret Hope, spoke after the baby was found dead and said her daughter, Angela, was planning to end her relationship with Caleb. “I think that’s the reason he took the baby,” the grandmother told AL.com.
“He knew he done killed that baby and he had to come up with some excuse,” Margaret said.
The grandmother revealed that Caleb took the baby while Angela was sleeping and went on to say, “She didn’t get to have her son on Mother’s Day or Monday. Angela is a great mother, and she is overprotective of her kids. She was so happy when she gave birth. I was there when she gave birth to the baby. I can’t believe the SOB killed her baby.”
Currently, Angela is not facing any charges in connection with their son’s death, whereas Caleb is being held at the Montgomery County Detention Center. The police are yet to reveal more details about how CJ lost his life.