Suspended New Jersey homicide detective charged with murdering his 3-month-old daughter

A New Jersey homicide detective suspended during an investigation into the death of his 3-month-old daughter last year has been charged with her murder.

Daniel Bannister, 31, was arrested Wednesday and charged with the December murder of 3-month-old Hailey, according to Mercer County prosecutors. His wife and Hailey’s mother, Catherine Bannister, 29, was charged with second-degree endangering the welfare of a child, police said. Prosecutors were requesting they both be held without bail.

Daniel Bannister had worked for the police department since 2017 but was suspended after Hailey died in December 2018. Officers from the Mercer County Homicide Task Force took him into custody Wednesday morning, according to a media release.

'Not breathing and in cardiac arrest'

Bannister was a September 2017 graduate of the Mercer County Police Academy, according to, and was making $45,000 a year.

Hailey died just days after emergency services were called to the Bannister home on Dec. 5 last year for a report of “an unresponsive three-month-old baby having difficulty breathing,” the police statement said. “Emergency medical technicians assessed the baby, who was not breathing and in cardiac arrest.”

Hospitalized with a fractured skull, brain bleed and broken ribs, Hailey was listed in critical condition, police said. She died on Dec. 11, and Bannister was suspended after police determined some aspects of her death were suspicious.

An autopsy revealed that the infant died of “complications from blunt impact trauma of the head including skull fractures and subdural hemorrhage,” prosecutors said, making it a homicide investigation. “The nature of Hailey’s injuries indicated an ongoing pattern of abuse.”