NEW ORLEANS, LA (WVUE) - "It's very shocking. It's just sad. It's heartbreaking," says a neighbor.
Police say 46-year-old Mark Hambrick called 911 just after 7 a.m. Tuesday and told dispatchers the gruesome details of how he'd killed his 18-month-old daughter.
"He told us that he did it earlier in the night and that some hours had passed. He told us that he stabbed the child and to put the child out of her misery, he suffocated the child," says NOPD Chief Michael Harrison.
Harrison says Hambrick told them he did it because God wanted him to. After telling the 911 operator what he'd done, Hambrick waited on the front porch for officers to arrive and was taken into custody.
"They were able to enter the residence without incident and they were able to observe the 18 month old with multiple stab wounds lying unresponsive on the bed," says Chief Harrison.
He says the apparent murder weapon, a knife, was next to the little girl's body.
"In an interview, Mr. Hambrick has outlined and laid out how he committed this gruesome and heinous act to his own child. He was alone in the home with the child," says Harrison.
Hambrick was an internal audit analyst for the Sewerage and Water Board, and the board says there was no history of disciplinary action. The toddler's mother, Monika Hambrick, works in Baton Rouge as the Director of Urban Development.
"They would always walk the baby. They interacted with each other well. There was no body language that would indicate that something like this would happen," says a neighbor.
They say Hambrick seemed like a normal dad.
"He didn't seem like God told him anything or the devil told him to do her anything. He was just an everyday guy who talked about his baby girl," says Aline Pitre.
Hambrick is booked with second-degree murder.