Louisiana man who allegedly plotted to kill and dismember gay men via popular dating app pleads guilty to kidnapping, federal authorities announced Thursday.
It has been reported that Lafayette resident Chance Seneca, 21, kidnapped two men and attempted to kidnap a third he had met on the gay dating app Grindr over the course of two days in June 2020. At least one of the men kidnapped was targeted because of his sexual orientation.
Further, he “intended to dismember and keep parts of the victim’s body as trophies, mementos, and food,” according to the authorities.
Seneca, then 19 years old, was charged with six offenses, including kidnapping, hate crimes, firearm possession, and obstruction.
After being indicted by a federal grand jury in March 2021, his trial was originally set to begin on March 14, 2022. However, on February, U.S. District Judge Robert Summerhays granted a defense request for a delay while his attorneys negotiated a plea agreement.
Seneca admitted in his plea agreement that on June 20, 2020, he kidnapped and attempted to murder Louisiana State University student Holden White using the gay social networking app Grindr.
Police say that after Seneca tortured White, a homosexual man, White spent nearly a month in the hospital.
The victim, who was 19 at the time, told The Acadiana Advocate in January 2021 that he and Seneca had met on the app and that Seneca had insisted on picking him up from his apartment.
Seneca admitted in his plea deal that he had used Grindr to arrange a date with the victim, driven him to a remote house, pulled out a handgun, and ordered the victim to put on handcuffs.
Seneca “then attempted to murder and dismember H.W.,” according to a Department of Justice press release.
He also claimed that he killed the man “to satisfy his homicidal urges and that he had planned to continue murdering until he was caught or killed.”
U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Louisiana Brandon B. Brown called the events in this case “very disturbing” and outlined the facts surrounding them.
To survive the defendant’s “vicious attacks” is “nothing short of miraculous,” he said.
Seneca could receive harsher punishments than life in prison if it is proven that he specifically targeted victims because of their sexual orientation, whether actual or perceived.
On January 25th, he will be given his punishment.