(SUFFOLK COUNTY, N.Y.) – Suffolk County District Attorney Raymond A. Tierney today announced the guilty plea of a man who was charged with Second Degree Murder after his wife was found stabbed and wrapped in garbage bags and duct tape in the Pine Barrens of Middle Island on December 9, 2021.
“It is unfathomable that someone can do what this defendant did to the mother of his four children, particularly during the Thanksgiving holiday. The brutal nature of the murder and the casual disposal of the victim’s body is especially disturbing” said Tierney. “This defendant’s plea saves the four children from further trauma, and ensures that the defendant will serve a lengthy sentence.”
Molinari pleaded guilty to Murder in the Second Degree before Suffolk Supreme Court Justice Richard Ambro today.
According to court documents and Molinari’s statements, on November 2, 2021, Molinari, his wife Melissa and their children aged four, 12, 14 and 17 were on family vacation at Disney World in Orlando, Florida, when Molinari became aware that his wife was having an extramarital affair. The vacation was cut short and they drove back to their home in Centereach on or about November 5, 2021. Melissa was last seen alive on November 21, 2021 and was reported missing by a friend, on December 2, 2021.
On December 9, 2021 Molinari was arrested after a search by cadaver dogs found Melissa Molinari’s body wrapped in garbage bags and duct tape. The autopsy revealed that the decedent had been stabbed 58 times.
At the time of his plea, Molinari admitted to planning the murder, including research as to countries that would not extradite him. He further admitted to stabbing Melissa to death, and disposing of her body.
Molinari is due back in court for sentencing on June 29. This case is being prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney Laura Newcombe and Assistant District Attorney Eric Aboulafia of the Homicide Bureau. The defendant is represented by Christopher Gioe.
Criminal complaints and indictments are merely accusatory instruments.
Defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty. No one is above the law.
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