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New Jersey Police Officer & Wife Indicted, Accused Of Brutally Killing Infant Daughter After Months Of Abuse

EWING, N.J. (CBSNewYork) – A New Jersey police officer and his wife have both been indicted for the death of their three-month-old baby last year.

The Mercer County Prosecutor's Office announced Friday that Daniel Bannister faces a first-degree murder charge after a months-long investigation into the killing of his daughter, Hailey.

Daniel Bannister
Daniel Bannister (credit: Mercer County Prosecutor's Office)

The Ewing Township police officer's wife, Catherine, has also been indicted on one count of second-degree reckless manslaughter.

According to authorities, the police officer and his spouse are accused of repeatedly abusing their infant daughter throughout her short life.

Court documents reportedly claim that Officer Bannister was responsible for injuries Hailey suffered from early October until Dec. 5, 2018 – the day Catherine Bannister called 911 to report their daughter was having trouble breathing.

catherine bannister
Catherine Bannister (credit: Mercer County Prosecutor's Office)

"Medical personnel determined Hailey suffered a fractured skull, brain bleed, and had multiple fractured ribs," officials said in Friday's statement.

The three-month-old died just six days later from her injuries.

Hailey Bannister
Hailey Bannister (credit: KYW-TV)

"It was concluded that Hailey's cause of death was complications from blunt impact trauma of the head including skull fractures and subdural hemorrhage. The nature of Hailey's injuries indicated an ongoing pattern of abuse," Mercer County Prosecutor Angelo Onofri explained.

The couple was eventually charged with causing the child's brutal death in July of 2019.

Both parents were also indicted on a single count of endangering the welfare of a child.

Relatives of the murdered child started a GoFundMe page which raised over $16,000 for Hailey's medical care while she was hospitalized and eventually for her funeral expenses. CBS2 has learned that those donations are now being refunded after the stunning revelations about how the infant died.

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