WEST COLUMBIA — West Columbia police have arrested a man they said strangled his girlfriend and left their child at home with her mother’s body.

Police said Tuesday 30-year-old David Richard Walker Jr. has been charged with murder.

Authorities said Walker strangled 26-year-old Catherine Carrie Banty in December and hit her on the head in their West Columbia home.

Police said Walker fled the home after killing Banty, leaving the couple’s 4-year-old daughter with her mother’s body.

It wasn’t known if Walker had an attorney. Police said Banty’s family is caring for the child.