Colesville, NY – A New York man murdered his three-week-old daughter and injured the child’s mother by shooting them with a razor-sharp broadhead crossbow bolt early on Monday morning.
The incident occurred at a home on State Route 41 near Cass Road at approximately 5:14 a.m. on June 26, the Broome County Sheriff’s Office (BCSO) said in a press release.
Deputies and emergency medical personnel responded to the scene after receiving a report that a woman and her infant daughter had been shot with a crossbow inside their home.
Upon their arrival, the deputies “attempted lifesaving measures” on the baby girl before rushing her outside to paramedics, but she was pronounced dead at the scene, the BCSO said.
The sheriff’s office identified the murdered infant as three-week-old Eleanor M. Carey.
The child’s mother was transported to Wilson Hospital with a wound to the chest.
Her condition is unknown.
The initial investigation revealed Eleanor’s father, 26-year-old Patrick Proefriedt, had gotten into an argument with his wife and fired a broadhead crossbow bolt at her while she was holding their newborn daughter, according to the BCSO.
It is unclear what model of broadhead bolt he used in the attack, but they are generally constructed of multiple razor edges that meet in a point at the tip. They are designed to slice into flesh and hold wounds open.
“The broadhead crossbow bolt hit the child in the upper torso, exiting near the armpit before striking the woman in the chest,” the sheriff’s office said. “Proefriedt allegedly removed the bolt and attempted to stop the woman from calling 911, then fled the scene in a red 2016 Dodge Ram pickup truck before responding deputies arrived.”
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BCSO deputies teamed up with the Chenango County Sheriff’s Office (CCSO) and New York State Police (NYSP) to establish a perimeter around the area of the residence.
They launched drones and activated mobile patrol units before ultimately locating Proefriedt in a wooded area less than a mile away from the home.
Investigators said the suspect’s vehicle became stuck in the mud prior to his apprehension.
He was arrested on charges of second-degree murder, second-degree attempted murder, and first-degree criminal contempt for violation of a protective order.
The BCSO said Proefriedt had a history of domestic violence incidents involving the victim and that a Stay Away Order of Protection was in place against him at the time of the attack.
“This is one of the most heartbreaking and senseless crimes committed in this community in recent memory,” Broome County Sheriff Fred Akshar said. “Our thoughts are with the family of this innocent 3-week-old girl, Eleanor Carey.”
“I commend the quick and decisive action of our Law Enforcement division in responding to this tragedy and ensuring Mr. Proefriedt did not escape justice,” Sheriff Akshar added. “Thank you to the New York State Police and the Chenango County Sheriff’s Office for assisting with this investigation and arrest.”
The sheriff said during a press conference on Monday that Proefriedt is “a repugnant human being,” USA Today reported.
“I’m glad, as I stand here, I don’t have to wonder or worry about where Mr. Proefriedt is. He’s exactly where he belongs, in the confines of this correctional facility,” Sheriff Akshar said. “And it is my deepest desire on Eleanor’s behalf that he never, ever sees the light of day again.”
The investigation into the fatal shooting remains ongoing.
Proefriedt is expected to remain in BCSO custody pending his arraignment.