Watch CBSN Live

New York father allegedly suffocated daughter, 7, found dead in her bed

NEW ROCHELLE, N.Y. — A suburban New York City man was arraigned on murder charges Wednesday in connection with the death of his 7-year-old daughter, whose body was found in her bed inside their New Rochelle home, reports CBS New York.

Police said Neil White, 47, is believed to have suffocated his daughter, 7-year-old Gabrielle White, but said the Westchester County Medical Examiner's office will determine the exact cause of death.

Investigators reportedly say a babysitter walked into the horrific scene around 3 p.m. Tuesday, finding Gabrielle dead in her bed and her father bleeding from his wrists.

"She saw Mr. White had cuts to his wrist, saw some blood and then she checked on the girl and saw she wasn't moving and called us," said New Rochelle Police Captain Robert Gazzola.

Police said his wife, Michelle Hord-White, had filed for divorce in April. The two lived separately but had joint custody. The family pastor spent Tuesday night with Hord-White, an executive at NBC, after the tragic discovery. 

"She is a woman of great faith. I expect her to get through this. It will not be easy, and will never be over," the Rev. W. Franklyn Richardson told CBS New York of Hord-White.

Gabrielle's babysitter, Tonette Mahon, was shaken and still in shock Wednesday from the girl's death.

"She was beautiful and I know the family, just — she was the light, she was the light of their lives," Mahon told the station.

Neil White is a writer and political consultant.

"He lost himself and in that deep dark place he acted out. And there's no logic or reason. It pushes the boundaries of reason that a father could kill his daughter," Rev. Richardson said.

The little girl, described as quiet and friendly, was in the second grade at the Ward School in New Rochelle.

In addition to soccer club, reading, and girl scouts, Gabrielle reportedly loved her church youth groups. 

The investigation is ongoing.

View CBS News In
CBS News App Open
Chrome Safari Continue
Be the first to know
Get browser notifications for breaking news, live events, and exclusive reporting.