A GoFundMe has been set up for the family of Melissa Molinari, 38, of Centereach. (Suffolk County Police Department)
CENTEREACH, NY — There is a fundraising effort underway for the children of slain Long Island mom Melissa Molinari, whose husband has been charged with her murder.
In a post on the fundraising platform, GoFundMe, Molinari’s brother, Richard McCulley III, said that her family has set up the account for their nieces and nephew and “will make sure this money goes to the children.”
Molinari left behind five children, four of whom are under the age of 18.
“We are trying to raise money for the children to help with whatever they might need in this time of losing both of their parents,” the page states. “Anything will help and thank you for your support.”
Molinari’s family did not respond to a request for an interview.
Molonari, 38, was found stabbed to death in the pine barrens in Middle Island on Dec. 9, and her her husband, Marcello Molinari, 42, is facing a second-degree murder charge, in what Suffolk police detectives called a tragedy because the children have not only lost one, but two parents.
So far, over 270 donors have contributed $16,000 toward a $25,000 goal, and some of them have left heartfelt messages to Molinari’s family.
One donor wrote: “May God bless and protect Melissa’s children” and another, “we are praying for you and are so sad and angry that your wonderful mom is gone. May you be surrounded by the love of so many good people in this world.
Another donor specifically addressed Molinari’s children, telling them that they would pray for them and they are so sad and angry that your wonderful mom is gone.”
“May you be surrounded by the love of so many good people in this world,” the post concluded.
“My most heartfelt condolences to the children,” wrote one. “May fond memories of their mother bring them comfort during this hard times in their lives. Although they can’t see her, she will always be at their side.”
Molinari was last seen at her home in Centereach on Nov. 21, and she was reported missing by a friend on Dec. 2, police said.
Molinari has pleaded not guilty to the charge. His attorney, Christopher Gioe of Hauppauge, described the prosecution’s evidence against him as circumstantial, News 12 reported.
“He’s maintaining his innocence,” he told the outlet. “The first time he heard about the charges was here at the courthouse. The first time he was given an attorney was here at the courthouse.
He’s informed me that he has asked for an attorney from the beginning of this investigation and he was denied the entire time.