By Kimberly Davis


TRENTON, N.J. (CBS) — A New Jersey police officer and his wife have been charged in connection to the death of their baby girl. Daniel Bannister joined the Ewing Township Police Department back in May 2017.

He was suspended last December after an investigation began into the death of his 3-month-old daughter.

(credit: Mercer County Prosecutor’s Office)

He was arrested Wednesday morning, but a loved one tells Eyewitness News he is not guilty of this heinous crime.

“He was falsely accused, they have no proof of anything,” a family member said.

The man gathering items from 31-year-old Daniel Bannister’s home claims there’s no proof that Bannister murdered his 3-month-old daughter, Hailey.

Credit: CBS3

But according to the Middlesex Medical Examiner’s Office, the reports show a different story.

Last December, police received a 911 call. Hailey was unresponsive and having trouble breathing. She died six days later in the hospital.

An autopsy revealed the baby girl had a fractured skull, brain bleed and multiple fractured ribs. It was also determined the nature of Hailey’s injuries indicated an ongoing pattern of abuse.

Neighbors who never interacted with the suspended police officer are shocked. Others had this to say about Bannister.

“I see him pull up with his truck all the time. He’s always yelling. I always hear him yelling, I always see him yelling a lot of nonsense around the neighborhood for no reason,” Jonathan Prieto said.

(credit: Mercer County Prosecutor’s Office)

The officer’s wife, 29-year-old Catherine Bannister, was also charged and arrested for endangering the welfare of a child.

Neighbors are hoping for swift justice for a life that was taken too soon.

“It’s unbelievable. Like who knew what was happening just four doors down from me,” Prieto said.

The prosecutor’s office filed a motion to keep Bannister detained pending trial. He’s due in court Thursday afternoon.

Kimberly Davis