The small town of Loranger is shaken after shocking crimes, the community mourns the loss of mother and child

LORANGER, Louisiana (WVUE) – Loranger, Louisiana, is a typical small town. The distances between people are small. People know each other either from work, school or church. Against this background, the murder of Callie Brunett and her three-year-old daughter has left the community in a state of shock. After all, people are supposed to feel safe in small towns.

Daniel Callihan, 36, admitted to murdering three-year-old Erin Brunett after killing her mother, Callie Brunett, and kidnapping her children, including six-year-old Jalie Brunett.(GoFundMe)

“Everyone here is great. It's just hard to imagine,” said Renee Louviere.

“I never hear anything about the crime rate here. I've never heard of murders or kidnappings here. I thought this was the safest place there could be,” said Jordan Louviere.

Jordan Louviere and her mother moved to Loranger last year. Like almost everyone else here, they can hardly understand what happened in the home of 35-year-old Callie Brunett and what was done to her daughters, three-year-old Erin and her six-year-old sister.

“You probably don't really know people, even if you've known them for years. There's another side to people,” said Renee Louviere.


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Daniel Callahan, 36, is accused of murdering Callie Brunett and then abducting her two daughters from their Loranger home. The abduction triggered an Amber Alert in several states on Thursday afternoon, and hours of ground and air searches were conducted. The search ended when Callahan was captured in Jackson, Mississippi, and the body of three-year-old Erin was heartbreakingly discovered. Her sister was the only survivor of the ordeal.

“I knew the mother for 20 years, and the babies too. I knew them all,” said Chris Babin.

Chris Babin has watched the girls and their mother grow up. She has driven a school bus for decades and owns Chris's Restaurant, a popular local eatery. Callie Brunett drove her bus as a teenager. Babin is proud of the mother Brunett has become.

“Callie was a good girl, a funny, loving girl. She loved her children. She was a good mother,” Babin said.

Brunett's six-year-old daughter attended Loranger Elementary School. She also rode on Babin's bus.

“In the morning she would get on the bus and say, 'Good morning, Miss Chris.' She was a sweet child. They were both truly a beautiful little girl,” Babin said.

The collective concern now lies with the surviving daughter and her grandparents.

“We hope God gives her strength and courage because she lost a mother and a sister. It's very, very disturbing,” said Don Jackson, a pastor from Hammond who was eating at Chris Babin's restaurant.

Jimmy Brister works with the little girl's grandfather at the local school. “We are very close and talk every day. Every morning his grandchildren would call him and he would say 'be good.' It breaks my heart,” Brister said.

Loranger is a godly place. After this week's events, many say it's a reminder that there is evil everywhere.

“There is evil at play here. You have to be evil to do something like this,” said Chris Babin.

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