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Father charged after baby found dead in woods hours after TV appeal by parents over ‘disappearance’

·2-min read
<p>The baby’s mother Angela Nicole Gardner and Caleb Michael Whisnand during their press conference on Wednesday. Hours later the body of the baby was discovered and later Mr Whisnand was arrested</p> (Screengrab/WSFA-TV)

The baby’s mother Angela Nicole Gardner and Caleb Michael Whisnand during their press conference on Wednesday. Hours later the body of the baby was discovered and later Mr Whisnand was arrested

(Screengrab/WSFA-TV)

A father was charged with manslaughter by the police in Montgomery hours after he made a public appeal with his partner over the “disappearance” of their five week-old baby, who was discovered dead in the woods.

On Wednesday night, the Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office announced the arrest of 32-year-old Caleb Michael Whisnand, who had informed them about the missing baby on Monday night. The baby’s body was discovered soon after the press conference on Wednesday.

Sheriff’s Captain Leigh Persky said Mr Whisnand is being held in the death of the baby on $100,000 (£71,100) bond in the Montgomery County Detention Center, reported AL.com.

On Wednesday, in a press conference, Mr Whisnand and the baby’s mother, Angela Nicole Gardner, 28, had pleaded for their son’s safe return. The police will provide more details on Thursday morning but clarified that the mother has not been charged in the case.

The news report said that multiple agencies were trying to find the baby and that the video surveillance footage from where Mr Whisnand informed the authorities is also being reviewed.

According to Ms Gardner’s mother, Margaret Hope, the couple lived with Mr Whisnand’s parents but she was about to leave him. “I think that’s the reason he took the baby,” the news report quoted her as saying.

“He had to come up with some excuse as he had killed that baby. He took the baby while Ms Gardner was asleep,” Ms Hope alleged.

“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,” said Ms Hope, who is the baby’s grandmother.

Mr Whisnand is already under indictment in an unrelated case on charges of possessing meth and heroin, reckless endangerment, and possession of drug paraphernalia.

He was arrested on 15 June last year and was released a day later. His trial on those charges is set for October later this year.

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