Home / National News / Authorities: NY Woman Wanted Grandson's Father Dead, Body Thrown to Alligators


(WATERTOWN, N.Y.) — A grandmother and social worker in upstate New York has been accused in a murder-for-hire plot, planning to have her grandson’s father killed and his body fed to alligators, authorities say.

Melisa Schonfield, 57, was arrested Friday after she allegedly tried to hire a hit man to kill Ernesto Negrillo of Florida for $11,000. Schonfield’s daughter and Negrillo have a 2-year-old together.

Schonfield met Jefferson County Sheriff’s Det. Dave Pustizzi inside her car at a Walmart in Watertown, New York, according to court documents. He was posing as the would-be hit man.

Schonfield said the best way to get rid of the body would be to “throw it to the alligators,” according to the detective.

The accusations shocked Schonfield’s daughter, Alexis, 31, who found out about the arrest on Facebook. Alexis Schonfield said Negrillo has been verbally abusive to her.

ABC News attempted to contact Negrillo but he could not be reached for comment.

Alexis Schonfield said her mother has not admitted to doing anything wrong, only that she loves her daughter.

“This only happens on a Lifetime movie, you know?” Alexis Schonfield said in an exclusive interview with ABC News. “My mom is not a monster.”

Alexis Schonfield also rejected allegations that her father, a well-known dentist, was aware of his wife’s alleged plans.

Schonfield is home on bail, charged with second-degree conspiracy and criminal solicitation. She has pleaded not guilty, her lawyer said.

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