NEW ROCHELLE, N.Y. - The father of the 7-year-old girl who was found dead in her New Rochelle bed under “suspicious” circumstances has been charged with murder, police said on Wednesday.
At a press conference on Wednesday, New Rochelle officials announced that 47-year-old Neil White has been charged with second-degree murder in connection to the death of his daughter, Gabrielle, who was a student at Ward Elementary School.
At approximately 3:20 p.m. on Tuesday, police received an emergency call from 3 Arbor Glen when Gabrielle’s babysitter went to the home to check on the girl following an uneasy text message exchange with White, Police Capt. Robert Gazzola said. Upon arrival at the scene, she found White bleeding with wounds to his wrists and Gabrielle in her bed, prompting her to call the police.
Paramedics said that Gabrielle was unresponsive, laying in bed when they arrived. White was taken to Montefiore Hospital for treatment of non-life-threatening injuries. White was later taken into custody and was arraigned in New Rochelle City Court on Wednesday
The cause of death is believed to be asphyxia by suffocation, Gazzola said, though the exact cause of death is pending confirmation from the Medical Examiner’s Office.
New Rochelle Mayor Noam Bramson, who said he has been a close personal friend of the White family for years, said he and the community are devastated.
“As a mayor, as a parent, as a friend, I’m just devastated, just like so many in the community are,” he said. “It’s just incomprehensible.”
This isn’t the first time police have been called to 3 Arbor Glen. In January, Gazzola said that officers were called there for a verbal dispute between White and his wife, Michelle Hord-White, from whom he is separated. Gazzola said that the dispute was minor and officers cleared the scene in a short few minutes.
White and Hord-White had shared custody of Gabrielle, and at the time of the 7-year-old’s death, they resided in separate homes. Police said that Hord-White was at work at the time of the incident and that Gabrielle did not attend school as regularly scheduled on Tuesday. Gazzola said that the department and school district is working together to see if White called her in sick or not.
“This hurts our community, and it hurts us all deeply as it relates to children,” Gazzola said. The entire New Rochelle community is saddened by this event and asks that everyone respects the family’s privacy during this difficult time.”
The alleged murder is actively being investigated by police. Keep following Daily Voice for updates.
Click here to sign up for Daily Voice's free daily emails and news alerts.