A New Rochelle, N.Y., man is facing murder charges in connection with the death of his 7-year-old daughter, whose body was found in her bed inside their home.
According to CBS New York, police believe that 47-year-old Neil White suffocated his young daughter, Gabrielle. The Westchester County Medical Examiner’s Office will rule on the exact cause of death as the family, including the little girl’s mother, search for answers.
“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 said of Gabrielle’s mother, Michelle Hord-White.
Hord-White, who is an executive at NBC, filed for divorce from White in April, and the two lived separately, although they had joint custody.
Tonette Mahon, who babysat Gabrielle, is also deeply shaken by the child’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 news station.
According to the report, at around 3 p.m. Tuesday, a babysitter walked in to find Gabrielle dead in her bed, with 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,” New Rochelle Police Capt. Robert Gazzola explained.
Neighbors were left shocked by the killing.
“Completely shocked. Disgusted,” one neighbor said.”Everyone is so loving here; it’s a quiet neighborhood. The kids just come out and play.”
Gabrielle, who was described as a quiet and friendly child, attended the second grade at Ward School and participated in soccer club, reading and the Girl Scouts. Grief counselors were available at the school Wednesday as the investigation continues.
Read more at CBS New York.