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New York Man Allegedly Stabbed His Ex-Girlfriend’s Daughter to Death While Facing a Restraining Order

Paul J. Senecal

Paul J. Senecal via Dutchess County Sheriff’s Office

A New York State man allegedly murdered his ex-girlfriend’s daughter over the weekend. Paul J. Senecal, 38, is charged with murder in the second degree for stabbing to death Melanie Chianese, 29, the Dutchess County Sheriff’s Office said.

Authorities did not clarify the link between the two, but a source close to the family told News 12 Westchester the defendant was the ex-boyfriend of the victim’s mother.

Senecal had reportedly been arrested three times on domestic violence allegations and faced a restraining order protecting the mother. A restraining order to protect Melanie Chianese had reportedly been denied. The suspect, who reportedly had an ankle monitor on at the time of the killing, was set to be sentenced on Monday in a felony contempt case.

Senecal committed the stabbing Sunday at approximately 5:40 p.m., deputies said. The sheriff’s office and state police responded to the home on Scott Drive in the Town of Wappinger regarding a report of an injured woman. Chianese, who reportedly lived there with her 3-year-old son and her mother, suffered serious injuries from stab wounds.

The victim sought help by going to a neighbor’s home after the stabbing, Capt. John Watterson said, according to The Poughkeepsie Journal.

A neighbor described her as being covered in blood and unable to talk, according to News 12. She ran from home and motioned for help, this person reportedly said.

Chianese was taken to Mid-Hudson Regional Hospital but did not survive, deputies said.

“Initial investigation led to the identification of Mr. Senecal in connection with the above incident, and he originally fled the scene however was later located in the City of Poughkeepsie,” authorities said. “Further investigation by Sheriff’s Office Detectives led to him later being arrested and charged with Ms. Chianese’s death.”

When cops caught up to Senecal, the suspect was allegedly on the Mid-Hudson Bridge and planning to die by suicide, according to the News 12 report.

“Ms. Chianese and Mr. Senecal were known to each other, and the motive for the incident is still under investigation,” deputies said.

Deputies ask that anyone with information contact the Sheriff’s Office Detective Bureau at (845) 486-3820. You can also call the sheriff’s office tip line at (845) 486-2583 or email them [email protected].

“All information will be kept confidential,” authorities added.

A GoFundMe campaign to support Chianese’s son has raised more than $5,000 of a $25,000 goal as of Wednesday morning.

[Booking photo via Dutchess County Sheriff’s Office]

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