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Alcohol, Drugs Spark Brutal Mortgage Murder

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Alcohol, Drugs Spark Brutal Mortgage Murder

David Paradise had only been married 2 months

October 5, 2005


It was a Saturday afternoon in upstate New York when a recently married mortgage broker decided to have a drink.Newlywed David Paradise, 31, and his wife, Melissa, had only been married about two months. The couple met on the job at Home Funding Finders Inc., a mortgage brokerage, in Latham, N.Y., near Albany.

While Melissa was shopping, David popped a bottle of champagne left over from the couple’s July wedding. After drinking, David reportedly snorted some cocaine.

What may have happened next sounds like something out of a network television crime drama.

When Paradise’s wife returned home, he allegedly stabbed her to death, nearly decapitating her with a kitchen knife in what police have described a vicious attack.

Authorities are now trying to piece together what happened in the couple’s second floor apartment in Cohoes, N.Y., on the afternoon of Sept. 17. It was there two days later that Melissa’s body was found with multiple stab wounds in the throat, back and buttocks.

David Paradise, a former U.S. Marine whose only prior scrape with the law was a drunk driving arrest a few years ago, has been indicted on murder charges and pleaded not guilty.

Police in Cohoes say it was Paradise who originally alerted authorities to the crime.

According to a statement, Cohoes police say they received a call from the New York State Police Barracks in Malone, N.Y., a town near the Canadian border, at about 4 p.m. on the afternoon of Sept. 19.

The police in Cohoes were told “that there may be a victim of a stabbing” at Lansing Lane, where the couple lived in an apartment above Melissa’s grandmother’s house.

Upon arriving at the apartment, police said found Melissa’s body.

Investigators believe that after staying in the apartment with his dead wife’s body over the weekend, Paradise drove about 130 miles away to Malone. Once there, he allegedly walked into the state police barracks and told authorities about the crime. Police said he was calm as he told them what happened. Written statements he made to police were submitted as evidence by prosecutors.

Paradise may have had an argument with his wife before the attack, police said.

Paradise is being held without bail. Authorities are concerned he might be a flight risk because he was so close to the Canadian border after the alleged attack on his wife.

Melissa Paradise, whose maiden name was Moran, lived in Cohoes all her life.

Patrick Crowley is a feature journalist and blogger, and a reporter, blogger and columnist for The Cincinnati Enquirer. e-mail Patrick at:

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