Cop Charged With Murder Of 3-Month-Old Daughter After Fundraising For Her Death
Ewing, NJ – A Ewing police officer was charged with the murder of his three-month-old baby girl on Wednesday.
Police said they were summoned to the home of 31-year-old Ewing Township Police Officer Daniel Bannister on Dec. 5, 2018 for a report of a baby who was unresponsive and having trouble breathing, KYW reported.
"My husband is an officer, so he’s working with her right now, but we need help," the baby’s mother, Catherine Bannister, told the operator when she called 911.
When the ambulance arrived, medics determined that three-month-old Hailey Rose was suffering from a heart attack, WKXW reported.
The baby was transported to Capital Health Medical Center – Hopewell in critical condition, and once there, doctors discovered she was also suffering from a fractured skull, a brain bleed, and multiple fractured ribs.
Doctors said that the nature of the little girl’s injuries indicated a pattern of abuse, according to KYW.
Hailey Rose was transferred to Robert Wood Johnson Children’s Hospital in New Brunswick for advanced treatment, but she died six days later on Dec. 11, 2018, WKXW reported.
“It was concluded that Hailey’s cause of death was complications from blunt impact trauma of the head including skull fractures and subdural hemorrhage,” the Mercer County Prosecutor’s Office told the Cherry Hill Courier-Post.
Authorities launched an investigation on the day that the Bannisters’ baby was taken to the hospital after police were notified about the “suspicious nature of Hailey’s injuries.”
Before the baby died, Officer Bannister and his wife set up a GoFundMe campaign that said Hailey Rose had suffered a "catastrophic brain injury" and asked for financial support.
Generous donors contributed $17,618 toward the baby's medical bills and then funeral expenses, WKXW reported.
A spokesman for the Mercer County Prosecutor’s Office told WKXW that Officer Bannister had been suspended with pay from the police department in December, shortly after his daughter died.
Officer Bannister joined the Ewing Township Police Department in May of 2017, KYW reported.
The officer was arrested on July 17 and charged with Hailey’s murder.
His wife, Catherine, was arrested and charged with endangering the welfare of a child, in connection with her daughter’s death, according to the Cherry Hill Courier-Post.
The couple also have a son together, WKXW reported.
Officer Bannister was due to appear in court on Thursday. The prosecutor’s office has filed a motion asking to have Hailey Rose’s father detained pending trial, KYW reported.