Long Island

Missing Long Island Mother Found Dead, Husband Charged With Murder: Police

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The search on Long Island for the missing mother of four who had not been seen in nearly three weeks has come to an end after her body was found on Thursday.

Suffolk County police found 38-year-old Melissa Molinari in Rocky Point Barrens State Forest, a week after she was reporting missing on Dec. 2. Authorities didn't provide others details about the discovery and only said that Molinari's husband, Marcello Molinari, 43, has been arrested and charged with murder.

The Suffolk County Medical Examiner will have to perform an autopsy, authorities said.

Melissa Molinari was last spotted by her family leaving her home on Lolly Lane in Centereach on Nov. 21, meaning that she didn't spend Thanksgiving with her children. She did not take her car, police said.

A friend — not her husband — reported Molinari missing and police didn't disclose that her disappearance was suspicious, only sharing that Molinari's family is cooperating, including the husband.

On Wednesday, Suffolk County detectives were combing over a water basin across the street from the Molinari's house, looking for any clues that could help them locate her.

"I find it very surprising she didn't take that car, she was in it all the time," said neighbor Gina Bastone. "That's what I'm shocked about, that she she would leave the kids, because she was so hands-on...it's just weird. Got to be so hard."

The father of Gabby Petito was involved in bringing attention to Molinari's disappearance, vowing to help other families find their missing loved ones. He tweeted Molinari's info, pleading with his followers to help find her as they look for any and all clues that will lead police to Molinari.

Marcello Molinari is expected to be arraigned on Friday. Information for his representative wasn't immediately available.

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