Father charged in 7-year-old’s death

Posted: Updated:
NEW ROCHELLE -

Police say a New Rochelle man suffocated his 7-year-old daughter to death Tuesday.

Neil White, 47, faces a second-degree murder charge in connection with his daughter Gabrielle's death.

White is shared custody of Gabrielle with his estranged wife, New York television executive Michelle Hord-White.

Hord-White filed for divorce in April, and police say they had responded to a dispute involving the couple once before.

According to police, White and Gabrielle's baby sitter traded several texts messages Tuesday afternoon after the second-grader missed school. They say the sitter was concerned with White's tone and went to his home at 3 Arbor Glen.

When she arrived, police say she found White with slash wounds to both arms. Police say the injuries were not life-threatening.

The baby sitter then went to check on Gabrielle. Officials say the little girl was in her room in bed and was unresponsive, so the sitter called 911. Police say the medical examiner was working on an exact cause of death.

White is being held at the county jail and will be back in court June 15.

Gabrielle's mother and family issued a statement:

"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 requests donations be made online at the Hord Foundation."

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