New­ton County seeks jus­tice in in­fant’s death

Fa­ther ap­pears in court, de­nied bond, re­fuses ser­vices of pub­lic de­fender

The Covington News - - FRONT PAGE - Jackie Gutknecht jgutknecht@ cov­news.com

A New­ton County man is fac­ing mul­ti­ple mur­der charges in a case that has taken the com­mu­nity by storm af­ter a 15-day-old child was re­ported miss­ing Satur­day, Oct. 7 and found dead Sun­day, Oct. 8.

Christo­pher Michael McNabb ap­peared in front of Judge Me­lanie Bell for his first ap­pear­ance in the New­ton County Jail Court­room Thurs­day morn­ing. In the hear­ing, he was de­nied bond and re­fused to fill out pa­per­work for a pub­lic de­fender.

War­rants were served on McNabb Wed­nes­day in the New­ton County Jail af­ter au­topsy re­ports came back find­ing that the cause of death for his daugh­ter, Caliyah C. McNabb, was blunt force head trauma and the man­ner of death was homi­cide. Christo­pher McNabb was be­ing held in the jail on a pro­ba­tion vi­o­la­tion war­rant out of Bar­tow County.

In the war­rants, New­ton County Sher­iff’s Of­fice In­ves­ti­ga­tor Jeff Alexan­der re­ported McNabb hit Caliyah McNabb with an “un­known ob­ject.” Alexan­der also re­ported, “This ac­tion did cause the vic­tim’s skull to be se­ri­ously dis­fig­ured and dam­aged be­yond re­pair. This act fur­ther caused the death of the vic­tim.”

Ac­cord­ing to the war­rants, McNabb at­tempted to con­ceal the body with a t-shirt, blan­ket and a draw-string bag in the woods not far from the res­i­dence where the death took place.

Caliyah McNabb was re­ported miss­ing Satur­day around 10 a.m. in a 911 call by

by her mother, Cort­ney Marie Bell.

In the record­ing, Bell told the dis­patcher that her two-yearold daugh­ter woke Christo­pher McNabb and her up around 10 a.m. to tell her Caliyah McNabb was miss­ing. Bell re­ported last see­ing her daugh­ter around 5 a.m. for a feed­ing.

Bell can also be heard yell- ing for her daugh­ter and said Christo­pher McNabb was search­ing around the mo­bile home park for the child.

More than 24 hours later, Caliyah McNabb’s body was lo­cated in the woods be­hind the res­i­dence in which she was last seen.

Both Cort­ney Bell and Christo­pher McNabb were in a ve­hi­cle with fam­ily mem­bers when the news of Cai­lyah McNabb’s body be­ing lo­cated broke. Christo­pher McNabb re­port­edly jumped out of the ve­hi­cle at the in­ter­sec­tion of High­way 36 and the Cov­ing­ton By­pass and fled on foot.

Later that evening, he was ap­pre­hended and ar­rested when 911 call­ers spot­ted him at a gas sta­tion on High­way 36. Ac­cord­ing to the 911 calls, Christo­pher McNabb was re­port­edly yelling “I didn’t do it.” He was alone at the time of his ar­rest and trans­ported to the jail on the pro­ba­tion vi­o­la­tion war­rant.

Cur­rently, NCSO does not have prob­a­ble cause to ar­rest any­one else in the in­ci­dent, but en­sure that it is an on­go­ing in­ves­ti­ga­tion.

Christo­pher McNabb’s charges will have to be in­dicted by the grand jury of New­ton County. The grand jury’s next meet­ing will be the first Fri­day of Novem­ber.

Al­covy Ju­di­cial Cir­cuit District At­tor­ney Layla Zon told The Cov­ing­ton News she would be the one to pros­e­cute Christo­pher McNabb’s case.

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