Search warrant sheds new light on Anderson County man’s possible involvement in Hermitage woman’s disappearance

Caleb Cannon at the home Thursday.
Caleb Cannon at the home Thursday.

ANDERSONVILLE (WATE) – Search warrants reveal new details about what led investigators to search the Anderson County home of a man who is now a person of interest in the disappearance and possible death of a Nashville-area woman.

The documents, released Friday afternoon, say a friend reported Nichole Burgess missing from her home in Hermitage on May 25 after she was unable to reach Burgess by phone or text message.

The friend said Burgess’s last text message, sent on May 23, indicated she had been in an altercation with the father of Burgess’s child, Caleb Cannon, 32.

Nichole Burgess (source: Nashville Metro Police)
Nichole Burgess (source: Nashville Metro Police)

The friend went 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. Police also searched the residence, finding Burgess was not there. Her dogs had defecated on the floor several times and had run out of food.

A neighbor said he/she saw two people carrying something out of the home’s back door on May 24.

Extended Coverage: Nikki Burgess

Cannon, who is allowed custody of his and Burgess’s 10-year-old son every other weekend, picked him up from school on May 23. The documents say a friend of the boy said Cannon was at Burgess’s home earlier in the afternoon, loading two black bags into a car parked in the driveway. The friend described one of the bags as a nylon, military style bag.

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 out of order.

When police searched the bathroom on May 29, 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, cadaver dogs noticed the presence of human remains in the trunk of that vehicle as well.

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.

Cannon’s home in Anderson County was searched on Thursday. Officers recovered a backpack, several knives, a gun, ammunition and several cell phones.

Anyone with information on the circumstances surrounding the disappearance of Nichole Burgess is urged to contact Nashville Crime Stoppers at 615-742-7463.

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