Body Of Missing Infant Found In Woods, Father Arrested

Judge OKs one trial for parents accused of killing newborn 

The Newton County parents accused of killing their 14-day-old baby will stand trial together, a judge ruled Thursday. 

Christopher McNabb and Cortney Bell admitted they smoked meth before putting the newborn, Caliyah, and her 2-year-old sister to bed in October, according to prosecutors. The following morning, Caliyah was missing from her family’s mobile home. 

During a massive search to find the baby, McNabb pleaded publicly for her safe return. But during the second day of searching, Caliyah’s tiny body was found in a gym bag in the woods near her home. An autopsy determined she died from blunt force trauma to the head.

Christopher McNabb, left, and Cortney Bell pleaded not guilty Tuesday in the death of their 2-week-old daughter.

Prosecutors argued Thursday that the two parents should be tried together, and Judge John Ott agreed. 

McNabb was charged with Caliyah’s murder in the days after her death. Then in January, a grand jury indicted him on eight counts, including malice murder, felony murder, second-degree murder, aggravated battery and concealing the death of another.

Bell was also indicted in January on second-degree murder, child cruelty and child deprivation charges, the first time she was criminally accused of being involved in Caliyah’s death. 

The trial for McNabb and Bell is scheduled for Aug. 13. Both are being held without bond in the Newton jail. 

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