A 38-year-old Long Island mom who had been missing for weeks was found dead in a wooded area Thursday — and her 43-year-old husband was charged with her murder, authorities said.
Melissa Molinari was reported missing on Dec. 2, 11 days after she was last seen at her Lolly Lane home in Centereach on Nov. 21, Suffolk County Police said. She was a mother of four, WABC reported.
Investigators found Melissa’s body Thursday in the Rocky Point Barrens State Forest off Currans Road in Middle Island, authorities said.
Her husband, Marcello Molinari, was arrested and charged with second-degree murder. He was held overnight, with his arraignment at First District Court in Central Islip expected Friday.
Melissa Molinari’s body was transported to the Suffolk County medical examiner, where an autopsy will be conducted.
In the early stages of the search, Joseph Petito — father of Gabby Petito, another Long Island native who was found dead in October after vanishing on a road trip with her boyfriend, Brian Laundrie — had tweeted out a request for help in finding Melissa.
Early Friday, he tweeted again, reacting to the tragic discovery.
“Why?” he wrote. “Why do we keep doing the same thing and expecting a different result? We have to teach our young ones better to stop the cycle. #DomesticViolence #TogetherWeCan #melissamolinari”