Man pleads guilty to kidnapping gay teen he met on Grindr in gruesome murder plot

A police mugshot of Chance Seneca

Chance Seneca pleaded guilty to kidnapping a gay teen he met through Grinder with the intention of murdering him and dismembering his body. 

Seneca, 21 of Lafayette, Louisiana, pleaded guilty to one count of kidnapping related to the June 2020 incident, the US Department of Justice (DOJ) announced.

According to his plea agreement, Seneca acknowledged that he intended to kill his victim Holden White, who was then aged 18, for the “purpose of satisfying his homicidal urges”. 

Seneca “used Grinder to propose a meeting” with White in 2020 before driving him to an “isolated house”. He then “took out a handgun” and told the teen to “put on handcuffs” before he “then attempted to murder and dismember” White. 

According to an affidavit filed by the FBI, police found White in a bathtub with his “wrists slit to the bone” and strangulation marks on his neck, the Associated Press reported. White survived but was left in a coma for three days after the grisly assault. 

The justice department said Chance Seneca admitted he “planned to continue murdering until he was caught or killed”. 

Seneca attempted to kidnap a different man and successfully kidnapped another within the same week of the gruesome assault on White, according to a separate statement from the FBI in March 2021

US attorney Brandon B Brown for the western district of Louisiana said the facts surrounding the “events that took place in this case are very disturbing”. 

“It is nothing short of miraculous that the victims who endured the vicious attacks from this defendant survived,” Brown added. 

White recalled in an interview with CBS 17 chatting with Chance Seneca for more than a month on the dating app before they met at Seneca’s place for a date. The date took a horrific turn when Seneca left the room only to return and strangle White from behind with a cord. 

White described waking up in a bathtub after suffering multiple stab wounds and a blow to the head. 

“I was saying my final words to myself which were just, ‘Stay calm,” White said. 

Seneca later called 911 and told the police that he attempted to kill White “in a self-described effort to be put into a mental institution”, according to the FBI affidavit. He was arrested at the scene and was later charged with federal hate crime and kidnapping charges.

The justice department said the statutory maximum sentence for kidnapping is life in prison. Seneca may face additional criminal exposure charges if the sentence court finds that he intentionally selected White because of the victim’s actual or perceived gender or sexual orientation. 

Chance Seneca’s sentencing is scheduled for 25 January 2023.