A man was charged with murder after killing his newborn baby Monday when he shot her with an arrow from a crossbow, a hand-held weapon that fires arrows and projectiles, police said. The arrow was aimed at the mother holding the infant at the time inside a residence in the New York town of Colesville.
Patrick D. Proefriedt, 26, of Nineveh, N.Y., was charged with second-degree murder, attempted second-degree murder, a class felony, and first-degree criminal contempt for violating a protective order. Proefriedt had a history of domestic incidents with the victim and an active protective restraining order in place.
According to the Broome County Sheriff’s Office report, law enforcement officers and the emergency medical services team arrived at about 5:14 a.m. Monday at the residence located on State Route 41 near Cass Road after receiving a report of a woman and baby girl injured after being shot by an arrow with a crossbow.
Initial investigation showed that Proefriedt reportedly argued with his wife and shot the arrow at her while holding their 3-week-old daughter. The broadhead arrow struck the baby in the upper torso and exited near the armpit before striking the woman in the chest. Proefriedt allegedly removed the bolt, attempted to prevent the woman from calling 9-1-1, and fled the scene in a red Dodge Ram pickup truck before officers arrived.
Uniforms attempted to save the life of the toddler, identified as Eleanor M. Carey while waiting for paramedics, but the baby did not survive the injury. The mother was transported to Wilson Hospital.
Meanwhile, the suspect was found in the woods, less than a mile from the crime scene, after the van became stuck in the mud. Uniforms used drones and several patrol cars to track him down.
Proefriedt remains in the custody of the Broome County Sheriff’s Office while awaiting arraignment. The investigation is currently ongoing.
“This is one of the most heartbreaking and senseless crimes committed in this community in recent memory,” said Sheriff Fred Akshar. “Our thoughts are with the family of this innocent 3-week-old baby girl.”