Poughkeepsie Man Accused of Killing Mother in Dutchess County
A Dutchess County man who was once charged for promoting a large Donald Trump rally in the Hudson Valley is now accused of killing a mother in Dutchess County.
On Tuesday, police released more information about a murder in the Town of Wappinger.
The Dutchess County Sheriff’s Office and New York State Police responded to a home in the Town of Wappinger for a report of a woman who was injured with undisclosed injuries on Sunday, May 29, 2022, around 5:40 p.m.
Arriving officers quickly discovered that the woman was stabbed multiple times and was seriously injured.
Woman Found Dead in Town of Wappinger, New York
She was taken to Mid-Hudson Regional Hospital where she later passed away from her stab wounds, according to the Dutchess County Sheriff’s Office.
On Tuesday, police identified her as 29-year-old Melanie Chianese.
"Melanie Chianese my heart hurts so much right now, for you, your son, your family. You did not deserve what happened to you, no one does," Ashely Burst wrote on Facebook.
A GoFundMe was setup for Melanie's son. CLICK HERE to donate.
Police quickly determined a suspect, but the suspect fled the scene. Police did not say how the investigation led to the suspect's identity.
Suspect's Minivan Found in East Fishkill, New York
The suspect's minivan was found deserted several miles away at the Dutchess Rail Trail parking lot in East Fishkill, Mark Lieb of Rockland Video told Hudson Valley Post in an email.
Police also assured the public, stating the suspect was not a threat to the public.
"At this time there is no threat to public safety," the Dutchess County Sheriff's Office stated in a press release.
Suspect Arrested in Poughkeepsie, New York
The suspect was later located and taken into custody in the City of Poughkeepsie. Late Tuesday police released the suspect's name.
Paul J. Senecal, 38, of Poughkeepsie was arrested in connection with the fatal stabbing in the Town of Wappinger, police say.
Poughkeepsie, New York Man Accused of Killing Mother in Wappinger
The 38-year-old man from Poughkeepsie was charged with murder in the second degree, a felony. After being processed Senecal was arraigned before the Town of Wappinger Court and remanded to the Dutchess County Jail without bail.
Police confirmed Senecal and Chianese knew each other but would not say how the two knew each other. A motive remains unclear, police say.
"Initial investigation led to the identification of Senecal in connection with the above incident, and he originally fled the scene however was later located in the City of Poughkeepsie. Further investigation by Sheriff’s Office Detectives led to him later being arrested and charged with Ms. Chianese’s death. Ms. Chianese and Mr. Senecal were known to each other, and the motive for the incident is still under investigation," the Dutchess County Sheriff's Office said in a press release.
Senecal Once Charged in Ulster County, New York Following Large Trump Rally
In November 2020, Senecal was charged in Ulster County for allegedly hosting a large Donal Trump rally that police described as a "mass gathering involving 1,000 plus participants."
Saugerties Police charged then 36-year-old Paul J. Senecal of Poughkeepsie with the violation of failing to obtain a facility's users permit and failure to provide proof of insurance, as prescribed by Town of Saugerties Local Law 224-10, police say.
On Sunday, Nov. 1, 2020, Senecal promoted and held a mass gathering involving 1,000 plus participants at the Cantine Memorial Complex, without first obtaining a facility's user permit or liability insurance for conducting the event, according to Saugerties police.
Following his charge, Senecal took to Twitter asking Donald Trump, Donald Trump Jr., Dan Scavino and GOP Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel for help with his ticket. It's unclear if anyone helped, but Trump, Trump Jr., Scavino, or McDaniel did not comment on the tweet.
Dutchess County Murder Investigation Continues
The Dutchess County Sheriff's Office is continuing to investigate the murder in the Town of Wappinger. Anyone with information is asked to call the police.
"If anyone has any information about this case they are urged to contact the Sheriff’s Office Detective Bureau at 845-486-3820, or the Sheriff’s Office tip line at 845-486-2583 or firstname.lastname@example.org. All information will be kept confidential," the Dutchess County Sheriff's Office stated in a press release.
The Dutchess County Sheriff's Office was assisted by the New York State Police, Town of East Fishkill Police, City of Poughkeepsie Police, Town of Poughkeepsie Police, Town of Hyde Park Police, and Town of Wappinger EMS.