An 18-year-old college student remains in critical condition, fighting for his life, after being mutilated, tortured and left for dead by a suspect he met on Grindr in Lafayette, Louisiana, on Saturday night.
Holden White was found in a bathtub with stab wounds to his neck, strangulation wounds, blunt force trauma to the back of his head and cuts so deep into his wrists that his hands were nearly severed, according to the Acadiana Advocate.
White’s alleged attacker, 19-year-old Chance Seneca, called 911 to say he had murdered someone and was still at the scene when police arrived, according to reports. Seneca is charged with attempted second-degree murder and is being held on $250,000 bond.
Since October, Seneca’s Facebook profile has featured an image of Jeffrey Dahmer, the serial killer who murdered 17 men and boys from 1978-91. However, police in Lafayette are not treating the horrific attack as a hate crime.
The two teens had reportedly been chatting on Grindr for more than a week and agreed to meet in person on Saturday, when Seneca picked up White and took him to a residence. Lafayette police Sgt. Wayne Griffin told the Advocate that a “verbal altercation ensued and Seneca produced a knife and ended up stabbing Holden in the neck.”
“There were several indicators that point us to the direction that it was not a hate crime,” Griffin said. “I know the mom has been posting on social media, and we’ve had all kinds of people calling the PD asking us to classify it as a hate crime. It’s just because of the sensitivity of the case, we cannot go into any more about it, but it’s not going to be classified as a hate crime.”
White’s family and friends strongly disagree.
“In my opinion, this is nothing but something filled with hate,” said White’s older sister, Faith Roussel. “I feel, just given who his profile picture was and the sick and evil things he did to my brother, this was absolutely a hate crime.”
Roussel said White, who was studying education at Louisiana State University in Eunice, recently participated in protests in response to the murder of George Floyd.
“He was just in the middle of the riots speaking out against discrimination,” Roussel said. “He was so against hate against any one color or sexuality or anything, no matter what it was. He wanted all people to be treated equally. He’d be appalled. He’d be on the front lines right now. He’d be trying to uplift the victim.”
Roussel launched a GoFundMe page for her brother that has raised more than $63,000.
“Holden was lured to the residence of another young man. This young man proceeded to physically torture and harm Holden for several hours until authorities arrived on scene. The culprit physically harmed Holden in ways that are unspeakable,” the GoFundMe page states, adding that if White survives, he will need intense physical and emotional therapy.
According to an update posted to the page Monday: “Holden has shown signs of awareness!! He has answered yes or no questions with his head. He has shrugged his shoulders and he has moved his legs! God is so good!! We are so overwhelmed with the outpouring of love, prayers and donations! Thank you all so very much! Holden is still in ICU on the vent but things are looking much more promising! Love you all.”
KATC-TV later reported that White had been taken off the ventilator, but remained in the ICU. Watch below.