A three-week-old Broome County girl is dead and her father has been accused of killing her in a crossbow attack in the family's home.

Authorities have announced that 26-year-old Patrick Daniel Proefriedt of the town of Colesville has been charged with murder in connection with the fatal attack.

Proefriedt also faces counts of attempted murder and criminal contempt in connection with the early-morning incident during which his wife also was injured.

A photo of Patrict Daneil Proefriedt released by the Broome County Sheriff's Office on June 26, 2023.
A photo of Patrick Daniel Proefriedt released by the Broome County Sheriff's Office on June 26, 2023.

Sheriff's deputies and state troopers were sent to 2208 State Route 41 around 5:10 a.m.

Emergency dispatchers were told by Profriedt's 31-year-old wife that she and the couple's infant daughter had been wounded in the crossbow attack.

Broome County Sheriff Fred Akshar said the first law enforcement officers to arrive at the scene determined it would have been "futile" to aid the mortally wounded girl. They provided assistance to her mother until medics arrived.

The infant - Eleanor Carey - was pronounced dead at the scene. Her mother was being treated at Wilson Medical Center in Johnson City.

The sheriff's office issued a public alert as the search began for Proefriedt. The statement indicated police believed he could have still been in the area of the home on foot or he may have fled in a pickup truck.

A short time later, authorities announced Proefriedt had been taken into custody. He was found in a wooded area less than a mile from the residence. He ran into the woods after his truck got stuck in the mud.

Investigators determined Proefriedt fired a crossbow at his wife during an argument as she was holding Eleanor. The broadhead crossbow bolt hit the girl in the upper torso, exiting near the armpit before striking the woman in the chest.

Proefriedt allegedly removed the bolt and tried to stop the child's mother from calling 911.

Akshar said Proefriedt was being held at Broome County Jail pending his arraignment, which was expected to occur Monday evening.

The sheriff described the attack a "tragic" and "senseless" case of domestic violence. He said it was one of the area's "most heartbreaking" crimes in recent history.

An active "stay away order of protection" had been issued because of the previously-reported incidents.

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Contact WNBF News reporter Bob Joseph: bob@wnbf.com or (607) 545-2250. For breaking news and updates on developing stories, follow @BinghamtonNow on Twitter.

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