Mum’s horror murder after Disney trip

A Long Island mother of four who vanished nearly three weeks ago was fatally stabbed 20 times allegedly by her husband after he found out she had an affair, authorities said.

The body of Melissa Molinari, 38, was found on Thursday wrapped in plastic in Rocky Point Pine Barrens State Forest in New York by a sniffer dog, Fox News reports.

An initial examination of Melissa’s body revealed “homicidal violence and multiple sharp-force injuries,” Suffolk County Police Detective Kevin Beyrer said at a press conference. Prosecutors said she was stabbed 20 times.

Her husband Marcello Molinari, 43, was arrested on Thursday night and held on one count of second-degree murder. Judge John Kelly ordered him held without bail.

Prosecutors said the Molinari family cut a trip to Disneyland short after Mr Marcello learned of the affair, Fox5 News reported.

He allegedly told police that they had been “having marital issues over allegations of infidelity” and were discussing divorce, Mr Beyrer said of earlier interviews with the suspect.

Mr Beyrer offered a timeline of the police investigation that began as a missing person probe.

The woman was missing for 20 days before being found.

The woman was missing for 20 days before being found.

Melissa was last seen at her home in Centereach, New York, on November 21, but she wasn’t reported missing until December 2 by a friend. Her 2014 Chrysler mini-van was parked outside the house.

Mr Marcello allegedly told cops that Melissa had stormed out on November 22 after an argument and returned the next day with an unknown male. She packed a bag and got into an unfamiliar vehicle.

He claimed that on Thanksgiving, Melissa called him and told him to cook dinner. Family and friends reported that they had been unable to reach her since she was last seen, police said.

Mr Marcello gave police permission to search his wife’s mini-van, and on December 8, investigators parked it in a lot with other cars.

A police dog immediately zeroed in on the mini-van, even though his handlers had not been told it was the target.

Blood was found in the back passenger seat. Police executed a search warrant at the house and also found blood in the basement, Mr Beyrer said.

GPS data placed Mr Marcello near where the body was found on November 23 and December 3, police said.

A flyer appealing for information about Melissa Molinari.

A flyer appealing for information about Melissa Molinari.

The couple has four children under the age of 17, and Mr Marcello has one child from a previous relationship.

“This is a tragic case,” Beyrer said. “There are five kids. All the lives that were destroyed in this. It’s just a terrible story.”

Marcello’s lawyer, Christopher Gioe, whose client works in IT, said he co-operated completely with police, providing access to his phone and both family cars.

“It’s a very circumstantial case,” Gioe told Fox News. “My client maintains his innocence. He was shocked he was charged with murder.”

This article originally appeared on Fox News and has been republished with permission

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