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Centereach murder

File photo
Marcello Molinari

On June 29, Suffolk County District Attorney Raymond A. Tierney announced the murder sentence of a 44-year-old Centereach man, Marcello Molinari, who allegedly stabbed his wife to death 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 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.


Suffolk County District Attorney Raymond A. Tierney released a statement on June 13 announcing the indictment of a then 16-year-old defendant John Mann IV of Centereach for Murder in the Second Degree for allegedly fatally beating 16-year-old Henry Hernandez whose skeletal remains were recovered in March 2020 in Centereach.

“This was a horrific and brutal crime committed for no rational reason but what is just as disturbing is that the defendant was 16 years-old when he allegedly committed this callous act,” said Tierney. “We will make sure that the victim gets justice and that this defendant gets to account for his alleged actions.”

Mann, now 19, was arraigned on the indictment today before the Honorable Supreme Court Justice Karen Wilutis who ordered him held without bail.

According to court documents, on March 15, 2020, skeletal remains were discovered in a plastic tub on the property located on Jay Road in Centereach. The remains were wrapped in two separate plastic bags. When the skeletal remains were further examined, it was discovered that the hands and feet were bound with duct tape, and the head and mouth were also wrapped in duct tape.

Subsequent DNA tests established that the skeletal remains were of 16-year-old Henry Hernandez.

The investigation established that the defendant and Hernandez were hospitalized together in Brunswick Hospital Center in Amityville in March of 2019. When Hernandez was released, he went to the defendant’s home located on Jay Road and stole the defendant’s father’s truck. Sometime around June 2, 2019, the defendant lured Hernandez to a location nicknamed the “Sand Pit,” where he duct taped the victim and struck him repeatedly about the body with a blunt object. The defendant placed the body in a hole and covered it with debris.

At some point the body, now just skeletal remains, was moved and placed in the plastic tub on the defendant’s next door neighbor’s property where it was ultimately recovered on March 15, 2020.

Mann is due back in court on July 13. He is being represented by Matt Rosenblum.

This case is being prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney Francis X. Schroeder 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.

File photo

Suffolk County Police today arrested a Centereach man for the murder of Henry Hernandez, then 16, of Riverhead, whose remains were found in Centereach in March of 2020.

 Following an investigation, Homicide Squad detectives arrested John Mann Jr., 19, of Centereach, and charged him with Murder 2nd Degree. He will be lodged at the Yaphank Correctional Facility and is scheduled to be arraigned June 13 at the Supreme Court in Riverhead.

 Below is the original release and initial update.

A criminal charge is an accusation. A defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.


Suffolk County Homicide Squad detectives believe the deceased was a victim of violence. He was described as 5 feet 3 inches tall to 5 feet 5 inches tall, wearing size 4 ½ mens sneakers. He is believed to be dead for approximately one year prior to finding the body.

Detectives are asking anyone with information to call the Homicide Squad at 631-852-6392 or anonymously to Crime Stoppers at 1-800-220-TIPS. All calls will be kept confidential.

Below is the original release.

 Incident:         Human Remains Found in Centereach

Location:        75 Jay Road, Centereach

Date/Time:     Sunday, March 15, 2020 at approximately 5:25 p.m.

Suffolk County Police Homicide Squad detectives are investigating human remains discovered in Centereach this evening.

Suffolk County Police responded to 75 Jay Road at approximately 5:25 p.m. after a 911 caller reported skeletal remains had been found behind a home.

The remains were taken to the Office of the Suffolk County Medical Examiner to be examined.

Detectives are asking anyone with information to contact the Homicide Squad at 631-852-6392.