Sad, stunning new details emerge in Hermitage woman’s disappearance

Nikki Burgess
Nikki Burgess

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – Metro investigators think a cord or string could have been used to murder missing Nashville woman Nichole “Nikki” Burgess.

It’s one of many graphic and sad details in a search warrant obtained Friday by News 2 from Anderson County authorities.

The search was conducted Thursday in Anderson County at the home of Caleb Cannon, the father of Burgess’ 10-year-old son. Cannon has since been named a “person of interest.”The warrant’s affidavit from a Metro investigator said the couple’s son told a friend he “might not be seeing his mom anymore because she is probably dead.”

Nikki Burgess
Nikki Burgess has been missing since May 23, 2014.

The detective said the boy continued telling his friend he “was pretty sure that his dad had killed his mom.”

In the document, the detective writes cadaver dogs twice “alerted to the presence of human decomposition.”  One of the hits from the dogs was in Burgess’ Hermitage home. The second was in the trunk of a vehicle registered to Cannon.

That vehicle has been impounded by Metro police.

A detective says in the warrant’s affidavit he believes Burgess’ “body was transported, from her residence in Metropolitan Nashville”…”to an unknown location inside the trunk of the aforementioned vehicle” belonging to Cannon.

The warrant’s affidavit said a text message received May 23 from Burgess to a friend indicated Cannon “was with the alleged victim and they were involved in some sort of altercation.”

When asked if Cannon had been cooperative, Metro police spokesperson Don Aaron told News 2 “not overly so.”

The search warrant indicated an effort to obtain DNA from Cannon because it’s “needed for comparison of DNA evidence recovered from the likely crime scene.”

Among the things the document says detectives took away from Cannon’s home are an axe, knives, a gun, ammunition and several personal hygiene items.

Nikki Burgess
Nikki Burgess’ two dogs were found alone at her Hermitage home.

The investigators affidavit concludes by saying “the evidence recovered includes cords and string, and or all of which, were possibly used to murder the alleged victim.”

Investigators also say in their affidavit that a black nylon case was recovered from Cannon’s home.

The document indicates Cannon was seen loading two black nylon bags into his car at the Burgess home.

Metro police have not commented on the case since Friday.

When asked about anything Cannon might have told investigators, Aaron told News 2, “We can’t discuss the statements he has given, what he has said, but suffice to say the police department believed, it necessary to obtain court search warrants.”

WATE-TV in Knoxville said Cannon did not say anything publicly during the search of his Anderson County home on Thursday.

The television station added he did not answer a knock on his door the following day.

Aaron indicated that Metro’s cold case unit has been to Anderson County “on a number of times since the investigation began into the disappearance of Ms. Burgess.”

Several close friends of Burgess have said on Facebook that the young woman’s family has asked for its privacy.

Burgess’ son remains in the custody of the Tennessee Department of Children’s Services.

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