NEWTON COUNTY, Ga - The father of a Newton County baby who disappeared is being called a person of interest in the case.
Newton County Sheriff's Office said deputies arrested Christopher McNabb for a probation violation involving a burglary out of Bartow County. However, they stressed he is considered a person of interest involving a baby's death. His capture came four hours after searchers found a baby's body in Covington. They haven't confirmed whether the child found is McNabb's newborn, Caliyah.
McNabb entered a Chevron gas station on Highway 36 around 7 p.m. Sunday.
"I was standing there waiting on customers. He came in and somebody said ‘That's him.’ I looked at him and said ‘That is him. That is him,’" said Julie Hannah, store clerk.
Store surveillance cameras captured McNabb wearing a cap and gray shirt.
"He was real wet and nasty like he had been running through the woods in the rain," said Hannah. "He started hollering and talking about ‘they are going to get me. They are going to get me. I've been running all day. I have been in the woods all day.’"
"He come back up here and he started talking to me and he says, ‘You know me? You recognize me?’ I said, ‘No.’ He says, ‘I was in here last night talking to you guys about my baby getting kidnapped," said Hannah. "He went on and on and on just rambling ‘I didn't do it. It wasn't me. It wasn't the baby's mama y'all going to look crazy when you figure this out.’"
Debra Devereux, a customer, said she was in the store as well.
"He said, 'I want the world to know I didn't do that to my baby," Devereux said.
"As soon as he got to the door, as he opened it, I had 911 on the phone, and before it closed my parking lot was full," said Hannah.
"I say he wanted to get caught. He said it in front of a lot of people," said customer Kathyrn Wesley.
McNabb's capture came four hours after a baby's body was discovered in the woods near the scene of Caliyah McNabb's disappearance. Shortly after, authorities took Caliyah's mother in for questioning, but they said she isn't considered a suspect or a person of interest in the case.
Captain Keith Crum with the Newton County Sheriff's Office said McNabb was with the child's mother at a different location when community members found a baby. He said McNabb took off running, which prompted the search for him.
McNabb's relatives said they're relieved he's in custody. But they ultimately want to know what happened to Caliyah. She was reported missing around 10 a.m. Saturday from the Eagle Pointe mobile home park by her parents, according to investigators.
Christopher McNabb spoke directly into FOX 5's cameras Saturday.
"I want my kid back!" he yelled repeatedly.
Authorities' initial search on Saturday included K-9 units and a command post at High Point Baptist Church on Highway 36.