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Louisiana Teen Indicted In Hate Crime Plot To Murder Gay Men He Met On Grindr
Chance Seneca allegedly plotted to “remove and preserve” his victim’s body parts for collection as “trophies, mementos, and food,” the FBI said.
A Louisiana teenager has been indicted by a federal grand jury on six counts, including hate crime and kidnapping charges, in relation to an attempted murder after he allegedly used the Grindr app as a “hunting ground” to abduct and torture men, officials announced this week.
Chance Seneca, 19, intended to “dismember” and collect the body parts of men he kidnapped as “trophies, mementos, and food,” according to the Department of Justice.
Investigators said that between June 19 and 20 last year, Seneca kidnapped two men and tried abducting another man who he’d met on the location-based dating and social networking app for gay, bi, trans, and queer people. He allegedly targeted his victims for their “sexual orientation.”
On June 20, 2020, Seneca dialed 911 from his father’s Lafayette home and informed dispatchers that “someone was strangled.”
“I really fucked my life up tonight,” he told dispatchers, according to an unsealed arrest affidavit obtained by Oxygen.com. “It’s my fault...I didn’t want all this to happen.”
Lafayette Police said they found Seneca smoking a cigarette at the residence. Inside, they discovered a makeshift torture chamber in the home’s bathroom. A naked man, whose wrists were “slit to the bone,” was found in the bathtub, the affidavit stated. White, who was “severely injured,” also had “strangulation marks” on his neck. Items including a knife, ice pick, saw and hammer were scattered nearby.
Seneca told police he lived at the house with his dad, who was working offshore at the time of the incident. He confessed to arranging a date with White, who had willingly come to the residence. Seneca said he handcuffed White under the guise of a sexual encounter, then put a gun to his back and choked him until he passed out.
“After the strangulation, Seneca pulled [the victim’s] body into the bathtub, stripped his clothing and slit his wrists with a knife,” the affidavit stated. “Seneca explained that he had hoped to remove and preserve White’s hands but that he could not finish his plan after seeing the bones of White’s wrists exposed under the flesh.”
Seneca repeatedly told him to “let go … I’m setting you free,” according to the affidavit. He later called 911 in a “self-described effort to be put into a mental institution,” investigators said.
White was brought to Lafayette General Medical center where he was intubated for several days.
The teenager confessed to using Grindr to lure the man to his father’s house; he described the app as a “hunting ground.” Investigators said he purchased a number of the tools used in the man’s suspected torture on Amazon.
Seneca later attempted to “cover-up” the kidnapping by deleting messages he’d sent to the victim, an indictment obtained by Oxyen.com stated. He described the alleged torture as a “dark joke.”
The case is being prosecuted as a hate crime.
“The defendant attempted to murder one of these men because of his gender and sexual orientation,” the Department of Justice said in a statement.
A spokesperson for the FBI declined to comment on the case on Friday.
The U.S. Attorney's Office for the Western District of Louisiana and the Civil Rights Division is prosecuting the case.
If convicted, Seneca faces life in prison. It’s unclear if he’s retained a criminal defense attorney on his behalf. He’s being held on $250,000 bail.
Seneca is facing half a dozen charges, including two counts of kidnapping, attempted kidnapping, hate crime with attempt to kill, violent crime with a firearm, and obstruction by destruction of records, according to court filings.
He’s scheduled to be arraigned before a federal judge at 10 a.m. on March 23.
White, who was in a coma for three days, told local station KLFY in January that he has regained full function of his right hand and that his left hand is still partially numb; he told the Advocate that he is continuing physical therapy and attending college classes.