Michelle Hord-White has made a name for herself as NBCUniversal’s talent acquisition vice president.
In April, she filed for divorce from her writer husband Neil White. The two had been together for years and shared a 7-year-old daughter together.
While the successful career woman wanted to part ways, she didn’t prepare for the way her husband would handle it.
The two had been living in separate residences but had been sharing custody of their daughter, Gabrielle.
On Monday, their divorce took another step forward when White approved a part of the divorce that stated Hord-White would get the house.
However, on Tuesday, White snapped.Image Credit: Westchester County District Attorney
Police received a call from the family’s panicked babysitter, Tonette Mahon.
Mahon had rushed to the home after receiving strange text messages from White. But she had no idea what she’d be walking in on. She told WABC-TV:
“I went upstairs, and I kept calling, ‘Neil? Gabrielle?'”
According to CBS New York, Mahon found White severely injured. New Rochelle Police Capt. Robert Gazzola said:
“[Mahon] 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.”
White reportedly told Mahon that Gabrielle was “in her room resting.”
However, she was soon pronounced dead.Image Credit: Screenshot/CBS New York
Although an autopsy has yet to be completed, police said they believe White strangled Gabrielle to death.
Mahon told the outlet that Gabrielle, especially to her mother, was everything:
“I know the family, just — she was the light, she was the light of their lives.”
And on Wednesday, Hord-White released 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.
White-Hord’s pastor, Rev. W. Franklyn Richardson, spent the night with the grieving family on Tuesday. He told CBS New York that White must have been in a dark, dark place to have committed such an atrocity:
Image Credit: Screenshot/CBS New York
“He lost himself and in that deep dark place he acted out. And there’s no logic or reason. It pushes the boundaries of reason that a father could kill his daughter.”
White was arrested and taken into medical care. On Wednesday, he appeared in court for his arraignment wearing a hospital gown and bandages, according to the Associated Press.
The father was charged with second-degree murder, as well as issued two orders of protection against him — one for Hord-White and one for an anonymous individual.
Although no one could have expected or prepared for such a tragic loss and horrendous crime, it’s clear that the family just wants to move forward and remember Gabrielle for what a 7-year-old girl should be remembered for: happiness.