In a heart-wrenching incident that unfolded in Colesville, New York, a 26-year-old father was taken into custody for allegedly using a crossbow to fatally shoot his infant daughter while aiming at his wife. Broome County Sheriff Fred Akshar addressed the press on June 26, sharing the horrifying details surrounding the tragedy. Responding to a distress call early that morning, deputies arrived at a residence on State Route 41.
Upon arrival, they discovered an adult female and her 3-week-old infant with crossbow injuries. The woman was swiftly transported to the hospital, but tragically, the infant named Eleanor succumbed to her wounds at the scene. The Broome County Sheriff’s Office revealed that during a heated altercation, the father, identified as Patrick Proefriedt, allegedly fired the crossbow at his wife while she held their daughter.
The crossbow bolt struck the infant in the torso, exiting near the armpit, before penetrating the woman’s chest. Shockingly, Proefriedt attempted to remove the arrow and thwart his wife’s efforts to contact law enforcement before fleeing the premises in his Dodge Ram truck. A coordinated search effort, involving the New York State Police and Chenango County Sheriff’s Office, led to Proefriedt’s arrest in a nearby wooded area where his vehicle had become stuck in the mud.
Proefriedt now faces charges of second-degree murder, second-degree attempted murder, and first-degree criminal contempt. His arraignment was scheduled for the same day. Authorities have disclosed that Proefriedt was subject to an active Stay Away Order of Protection due to a history of domestic violence.
Sheriff Akshar expressed profound grief and denounced the senselessness of the crime. He emphasized that the joyous occasion of welcoming a newborn should never devolve into an act of homicide. The incident serves as a somber reminder of the devastating consequences that can arise from domestic disputes and underscores the urgent need to address issues related to domestic violence. The community mourns the loss of little Eleanor and stands united against such senseless acts of violence that tear families apart.