Federal authorities charged a 19-year-old Louisiana man with a hate crime on Thursday after he allegedly used Grindr to lure gay men to a property with the goal of killing them and dismembering their bodies.
Chance Seneca of Lafayette was arrested in June 2020 after authorities said he was able to strangle and stab one victim, Holden White, before changing his mind and calling police.
According to a criminal complaint, White was found in a bathtub with his wrists slit to the bone and strangulation marks around his neck, which had also been stabbed. Police also said they found a knife, ice pick, saw, and hammer in the bathroom.
Seneca allegedly told the FBI that he met White on Grindr before communicating with him on Snapchat. Seneca was said to have told authorities that he viewed the social media app for gay men as a "hunting ground."
He invited White to his father's home on June 20 with the intent of killing and dismembering him. Seneca said he held White at gunpoint, handcuffed him, strangled him until he passed out, stripped his clothing, and began cutting him.
"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 his flesh," the complaint states.
In their indictment, prosecutors said Seneca had wanted to keep the body parts as "mementos, trophies, and food."
White spent three days in a coma in a local hospital before he woke up.
In January, he told the Acadiana Advocate he could recall briefly regaining consciousness while in the bathtub during the attack.
"He was just staring at me with a fearful look in his face, like a 'I just did this?' look," White said. "I was laying in the bathtub, naked, bleeding out, the water red and cold, and I remember thinking, 'Well, this is it.'"
The federal indictment also alleged Seneca had kidnapped a second man and attempted to kidnap a third the day before. The men were not named in the indictment.
Seneca is now facing six federal counts including hate crime, kidnapping, firearm, and obstruction charges — the latter because he allegedly deleted his Grindr messages with White prior to speaking to police.
No attorney was listed for Seneca on a federal court database. He faces life in prison if convicted.
White told the Acadiana Advocate in January that he had been hoping Seneca would be charged with a hate crime.
"He chose to do something to someone who's gay and proud about his sexuality," White said.
"The only time I was a victim was when I was in that three-day coma," White added. "I've come out of this a stronger person. I survived it. I'm a survivor."