updated 1/13/2007 6:40:24 AM ET 2007-01-13T11:40:24

A mother found her 4-year-old daughter decapitated in her home, and police issued an arrest warrant for the girl’s father.

John Patrick Violette, 37, was last seen driving a Buick station wagon near his home Friday afternoon in Clayton, about 15 miles southeast of Raleigh, said Clayton Police Chief Glen Allen. Violette’s wife, Amber Violette, called 911 that evening, saying she had found her daughter, Katlin, with her head severed from her body, he said.

“When senseless violence occurs, it’s tragic enough. But when it includes a child, it’s even more tragic for the community,” Allen said.

An arrest warrant has been issued for the father, and police planned to charge him with murder, Allen said. The State Bureau of Investigation was aiding in the search.

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