Montgomery, Alabama- The same day that a Las Vegas father was arrested and charged with murder in the death of 2-year-old Amari Nocholson who had been reported missing, a father in Alabama was arrested for the death of his 5-week-old son in a case with numerous parallels.
32-year-old Caleb Michael Whisnand was arrested on Wednesday, May 12 and initially charged with reckless manslaughter. His bond was set at $100,000.
In a press conference on Thursday Montgomery County Sheriff Chief Deputy Kevin Murphy stated that the results of an autopsy revealed that the "proper charge would be capitol murder." There will be no bond once the charge is upgraded.
Whisnand and the boy's mother, 28-year-old Angela Nicole Gardner appeared together and made a public plea for the safe return of their son though it was clear even at the time of that appeal that something was amiss.
A call was placed by Whisnand reporting Caleb missing at 10:45 pm on Monday. During that call he stated that the boy had gone missing when he went to pay for gas a a Circle K.
Gardner was home with her other child at the time.
It is not clear when, but at some point when speaking with law enforcement, it was told to them that Caleb had last been seen on Saturday and the family had been looking for him since.
During the press conference though, Whisnand's statements were described as "disjointed and muddled" by the Montgomery Advertiser, but one thing he did say clearly was, "I don't remember a lot."
Gardner's mother, Margaret Hope speculated that Whisnand's actions were because he knew that Gardner was planning to leave him. "He knew he done killed that baby and he had to come up with some excuse," she told Alabama.com.
Caleb's body was recovered in a remote area of Lowndes County where he had been buried. According to the affidavit it is believed that the "offense" occurred between 3:45 and 5:30, hours before the 911 call was made from Circle K. An autopsy ruled his cause of death to be blunt force trauma to the head..
At the time of Caleb's death, Whisnand was awaiting trial on drug charges stemming from a June 2020 arrest. Court documents state that he admitted to law enforcement that he had been using methamphetamine and had not slept for two or three days. He was indicted in February for reckless endangerment while driving under the influence as well as possession of methamphetamine and heroine.
His trial for that case is set to begin in October.