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Updated: Father Held Without Bail in New Rochelle Girl Death

Neil White is charged with suffocating his 7-year-old daughter


The New Rochelle man accused on Wednesday of suffocating his 7-year-old daughter is being held without bail at the Westchester County jail and is due back in New Rochelle City Court on June 15.

Police officers called to Arbor Glen, a townhouse complex, on June 6,  said they found the man, Neil White, bleeding with wounds on his forearms. Gabrielle White, 7, was  found dead in her bed.

The daughter had been discovered earlier by a baby sitter who had exchanged text messages with the father before the body was found, police said.

The baby sitter, Tonelle Mahon, told WABC-TV that she went to the home, , and didn’t see anyone and that the shades were drawn upstairs.

“I went upstairs, and I kept calling, ‘Neil? Gabrielle?’”

She said Neil White came out, bleeding, and told her Gabrielle was “in her room resting.”

An autopsy will be performed, but police said they believe the daughter was asphyxiated.

The Journal News reported that White’s wife, Michelle Hord-White, an NBCUniversal Inc. talent acquisition vice president, had filed for divorce in April.  It said the couple were living apart and had shared custody of Gabrielle.

According to reports, Neil White was a freelance journalist and worked on local political campaigns.

Hord-White and her family said words couldn’t sum up “all that Gabrielle meant to us” and “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,” the family said in a statement.

Mayor Noam Bramson said Wednesday was “an exceptionally painful day.”

“Our entire community mourns this tragic event,” the Democratic mayor said.


Previous story:

Police say a 7 year old girl, a student at Ward Elementary School, was found dead Tuesday in her New Rochelle home.

The Journal News  reports the girl was discovered while police in New Rochelle were responding to an emergency call of a man bleeding from wounds to his wrist.

It happened just after 3 p.m. Tuesday at a home in Arbor Glen, a townhouse complex near Downtown New Rochelle.

The man has been hospitalized and is believed to be the dead girl’s father.

Police did not say what caused the young girl’s death, but say it is being investigated as suspicious.

The medical examiner is to determine the exact cause of death.

The girl was in the second grade at William B. Ward Elementary School. The school district released a statement saying grief counselors will be at the school to help staff and students.

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