New Rochelle Man Allegedly Suffocated Daughter With Pillow, Report Says

WESTCHESTER COUNTY, N.Y. - Neil White, the man accused of suffocating his 7-year-old daughter in New Rochelle earlier this year, reportedly did so with a pillow in an effort to spare her from his upcoming divorce with her mother.

Neil White.
Neil White. Photo Credit: Westchester County District Attorney's Office
Gabrielle White with her mother, Michelle Hord-White.
Gabrielle White with her mother, Michelle Hord-White. Photo Credit:

According to a lohud report, court documents obtained days after his arraignment revealed that White confessed that he didn’t want his daughter to live in a single-parent home as he and his wife went through a separation.

A grand jury voted to charge Neil White with second-degree murder last week after the 47-year-old was charged in June for his role in the death of his daughter Gabrielle, who was a student at Ward Elementary School. He pleaded not guilty in Westchester County Court on Friday to the murder charge.

At approximately 3:20 p.m. on June 6, 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, New Rochelle Police Capt. Robert Gazzola said at a press conference earlier this year. Upon arrival at the scene, she reportedly 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. Neil White was taken to Montefiore Hospital for treatment of non-life-threatening injuries. He was later taken into custody and was arraigned in New Rochelle City Court on murder charges.

An autopsy performed by the Westchester County Medical Examiner's Office determined that the cause of death was asphyxia by suffocation.

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, from whom he has since 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 the day of her death.

According to the report, "Neil White replied that his family was splitting up and that he did not want her to be raised in a single (parent) home. He indicated that he was not getting enough time to spend with Gabrielle and that his visitation was going to be even more restricted after the divorce was finalized. Neil White indicated that he did not like having less time to spend with Gabrielle and that he did not want her to suffer."

White remains remanded to the Westchester County Jail. He is due back in court on Aug. 24. He faces a term of 25 years to life in prison.

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