A New York executive was devastated to learn that her 7-year-old daughter had been killed and the person responsible may be her estranged husband.
According to New Rochelle police, Neil White, 47, reportedly suffocated his daughter, Gabrielle White. However, the Westchester County Medical Examiner’s office will determine the exact cause of death, reported CBS.
White was arraigned on Wednesday and charged with murder.
According to police, Michelle Hord-White, an NBCUniversal talent acquisition vice president, filed for divorce in April. Although the two lived separately, they had joint custody.
Gabrielle’s body was discovered by her babysitter, Tonette Mahon, on Tuesday. After exchanging text messages with the father, Mahon went to the home and saw the shades drawn.
“I went upstairs, and I kept calling, ‘Neil? Gabrielle?’” Mahon told the Washington Post.
Mahon then saw Neil White come out of the house bleeding. He told her Gabrielle was “in her room resting.”
“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.
The entire ordeal has been extremely difficult for Gabrielle’s mother.
She issued the following statement Wednesday (as reported by CBS Local New York):
“No words could sum up all that Gabrielle meant to us but she was our light. We are broken and devastated that our sweet little girl is gone but we’re thankful that we had seven wonderful years with her. While we begin to mourn privately, we thank those friends, colleagues, neighbors and strangers for the tremendous support that we’ve already received. In lieu of flowers, the family kindly request donations be made online at the hordfoundation.org, P.O. Box 4671 Danbury, CT 06813.”
Gabrielle was in the second grade at the Ward School in New Rochelle. She participated in the soccer club, reading and Girl Scouts. She also loved taking part in her church youth groups. A celebration of her life is being planned for her at Grace Baptist Church in Mount Vernon, New York.
(Photo: Westchester County District Attorney)