(SUFFOLK COUNTY, N.Y.) – Suffolk County District Attorney Raymond A. Tierney today announced the murder sentence of a 44-year-old Centereach man who stabbed his wife and then disposed her body in the Long Island Pine Barrens last November.
“The sentence handed down in court today cannot possibly ameliorate the pain this defendant inflicted upon the victim and her family,” said Tierney. “However, this jail term can ensure that the defendant will be unable to further endanger the community for a substantial period of time.”
Molinari pleaded guilty on May 20, 2022 to Murder in the Second Degree. He was sentenced today before Suffolk Supreme Court Justice Richard Ambro.
According to court documents and Molinari’s statements, on November 2, 2021, Molinari, his wife Melissa and their children aged 4, 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.
A search conducted by members of the Suffolk County Police Department, the Suffolk County Crime Laboratory and Identification Section of the minivan revealed several questionable stains in the minivan. In addition, a cadaver dog conducted a search of the van which revealed a positive hit for a cadaver at two locations. Molinari consented to the search of his cellular telephone which revealed searches for terms such as “non-extradition countries” and “culpable”, along with nine months’ worth of data deleted. Further analysis revealed GPS coordinates on his phone which corresponded with a location on a dead end street in the Pine Barrens, Middle Island, New York in the early morning hours of November 22, 2021. Molinari was arrested after a search of that location 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.
He was represented by Christopher Gioe.
This case was prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney Laura Newcombe and Assistant District Attorney Eric Aboulafia of the Homicide Bureau.
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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