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EXCLUSIVE: Dutchess County mom breaks silence after daughter’s domestic violence murder

A Dutchess County mother whose ex-boyfriend allegedly murdered her daughter is breaking her silence tonight for Domestic Violence Awareness Month in the first interview since the horrific tragedy.

Blaise Gomez

Oct 20, 2022, 7:26 PM

Updated 579 days ago

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A Dutchess County mother whose ex-boyfriend allegedly murdered her daughter is breaking her silence for Domestic Violence Awareness Month in the first interview since the horrific tragedy. 
“She was just a beautiful human being who just wanted nothing more in life than to help people and raise her son and watch him grow,” said Cheryl Chianese. “Unfortunately, that was taken from her.” 
Chianese's daughter, 29-year-old Melanie Chianese, was killed at their Wappingers Falls home in May.  
“You’re never prepared for that phone call,” said Chianese. “You’re never prepared for a doctor to tell you that, ‘I’m sorry, we’ve done all we can do.’” 
Chianese's own ex-boyfriend, Paul Senecal, is charged with murder and is accused of fatally stabbing her 29-year-old daughter at the family’s home in Wappingers Falls.  
Authorities say Senecal was previously arrested three times for domestic violence-related crimes against Chianese and had a restraining order prohibiting him from going to her house. 
Chianese says Senecal would frequently drive by her house and would follow her on errands. 
“He just wouldn’t leave me alone. Stalking. Breaking into my accounts. Calling me, texting me," Chianese says.
The Dutchess County District Attorney’s Office says Senecal will have a competency hearing next week to determine if he’s fit to stand trial. 
Chianese says what she’s going through is nothing short of “torture” and wants to raise awareness to the dangers domestic violence.  
“Unfortunately, I can’t tell my whole story yet but what I can tell you is domestic violence is real. It happens. It’s not always hitting and getting beat. I don’t want this to happen to anyone else ever again," she says. 
Cheryl Chianese is now raising her daughter’s 3-year-old son, Myles. 
If you or someone you love is experiencing domestic violence contact the National Domestic Violence Hotline for help at 800-799-SAFE. 


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