Note: This story was last updated at 8:30 p.m.
An Andersonville man was arrested in Nashville on Wednesday morning in connection with the May 2014 murder of a Hermitage woman, authorities said.
Caleb J. Cannon, 34, was arrested by the Metropolitan Nashville Police Department on a first-degree murder indictment in the case of Nichole “Nikki” Burgess, a Nashville area resident, the department announced on Twitter. Cannon’s bond has been set at $750,000.
He was arrested by Homicide-Cold Case Unit at Juvenile Court, where he was to have attended a hearing. In a press release later Wednesday, the MNPD said detectives made the arrest after more than one year of investigation.
The Anderson County Sheriff’s Department had assisted the Metro Police in their investigation.
Here is more information from the MNPD:
Cannon was formally named a person of interest in this death investigation in Anderson County search warrants granted in June 2014. As a result of continuing investigative work by Detectives Jill Weaver and Kevin Akin, evidence was discussed with the Davidson County Grand Jury last week, resulting in the return of the first-degree murder indictment. Cannon was taken into custody today at Nashville’s Juvenile Court Building, where he was to have attended a hearing. He refused to be interviewed by detectives.
Although Burgess is considered a murder victim, her remains have not been found. She was last heard from on the afternoon of May 23, 2014, and was reported missing by a female friend on May 25, 2014. Her car, with a purse inside, was parked at her 923-B Oak Vale Drive home in Hermitage. The investigation shows that Cannon, who had visitation privileges with the couple’s son, who was 10 years old at the time, picked him up from his Nashville school on May 23 and drove him to Anderson County that evening.
A witness has reported seeing two individuals carry something out of Burgess’ residence in the early morning hours of May 24, 2014. The second individual involved in this case has not yet been identified. Anyone who has knowledge of Nichole Burgess’ death and/or information about the second person involved is asked to contact Nashville Crime Stoppers at (615) 742-7463, or the MNPD’s Homicide-Cold Case Unit at (615) 862-7329. Callers to Crime Stoppers can remain anonymous and qualify for a cash reward.
Criminal Court Judge Seth Norman has set Cannon’s bond at $750,000. He will be arraigned on the indictment in the near future.
Here is more information from a previous Oak Ridge Today story:
Burgess was last seen alive on May 23, 2014, when she dropped her son off at school. Later that same day, authorities said, she sent a text message to a friend indicating that she was having an altercation with Cannon, the father of the boy, who was then 10. Cannon, who was 32 last year, picked the boy up from school later that day, according to earlier reports.
Search warrants last year indicated that a friend reported Burgess missing from her home in Hermitage on May 25 after she was unable to reach Burgess by phone or text message. The friend had received the last text message from Burgess on May 23.
The friend told detectives that they had gone to Burgess’ home in Hermitage and noticed her car was parked out front and her dogs were walking around freely instead of in their crates. A neighbor said he/she saw two people carrying something out of the home’s back door on May 24.
Cannon, who had custody of his and Burgess’s son every other weekend, picked the boy up from school on May 23, authorities said. The warrants said a friend of the boy’s said that Cannon had been at Burgess’s home earlier in the afternoon, loading two black bags into a car parked in the driveway. The friend said he asked the 10-year-old where his mom (Burgess) was, and the boy said he was pretty sure his mom was dead and that his dad had killed him.
The friend also said he asked to use the bathroom at Burgess’ home and was told the toilet was not working.
When police searched the bathroom on May 29, 2014, they said they found the toilet in working order, but cadaver dogs detected the presence of human remains. That same day, Nashville police alerted officials in East Tennessee, who located Cannon’s vehicle at his home in Andersonville. It was towed to an impound lot the following day.
On June 1, 2014, cadaver dogs noticed the presence of human remains in the trunk of that vehicle as well, according to authorities. In the documents, police said they believe Burgess is dead, and her body was taken from her home in Hermitage to an unknown location in Cannon’s trunk.
It wasn’t immediately clear early Wednesday afternoon what new evidence might have been uncovered in the past year-and-a-half.
Nashville investigators searched Cannon’s home in Anderson County in June 2014 for evidence. Officers said they recovered a backpack, several knives, a gun, ammunition, and several cell phones.
More information will be added as it becomes available.
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