On May 2, 2022, at around 7am, Trinh Nguyen (38) approached her nephew Gianni Melchiondo (22) at their home in Bucks County, PA. I believe Trinh lived with her two sons, Jeffrey (also known as JT) (13) and Nelson (9) in the same home as the Melchiondo family. Trinh and the boys lived in the in-law suite. It seems like there was some ongoing family drama – Trinh had split from her husband Ed Tini in 2021. (Ed was the father of Trinh’s son – Nelson). Trinh had been refusing to leave the property following the split. I think the home is owned by a Corinna Tini-Melchiondo – maybe Ed’s sister?
Corinna alleged that Trinh owed over $11,000 in rent and that she was in the process of evicting her. Trinh and Ed had moved to the home in 2012. Trinh’s lease was terminated in September 2021, which was a month before her divorce with Ed was finalized.
As part of the divorce settlement, Trinh was ordered to post $2,400 per month in rent, but did not pay June-December 2021.
Corinna’s attorney wrote Trinh a letter in September 2021, which suggested there was animosity between the two. The attorney threatened legal action if Trinh did not stop engaging in “threatening and verbally abusive behavior.”
The letter accused Trinh of engaging in acts that “damaged or defaced” the property, including dumping dog feces by her landlord’s front door.
“Such conduct will no longer be tolerated,” the letter said. “The police will be contacted should you act in any inappropriate or abusive manner toward my client.”
Info about the property:
Located in one of Upper Makefield’s most sought after communities sits this expansive “two homes in one” property. 2.78 Acres with pool and privacy. Finshed walk out basement, 4 car garage, 6 fireplaces. Two kitchens, 2/3 master baths. 6 Bedrooms all together. Lots of beautiful hardwood flooring. Property sold in as is condition. Great value for right buyer.
Trinh was trying to get her life back on track and started selling false eyelashes online to make ends meet. She was under some stress as she had an upcoming court hearing scheduled with Ed. He wanted to stop her taking their son to Vietnam for a summer vacation. This info is from the Morning Call:
Ed said he feared his wife would take Nelson and never return, calling her a “classic parent kidnapper” in court documents.
Trinh denied that she intended to remain in Vietnam and she was described as “insulted” by the accusations in a custody conference evaluator report.
Trinh was no stranger to a custody battle. She had gone through a 3 year legal battle with her first ex-husband, Scott Dinh. The couple divorced in 2009 and Scott was awarded physical custody of the oldest child, then around age 4, and Trinh was awarded physical custody of Jeffrey, who was an infant. Seems like a messed up ruling to me – splitting up siblings?
Trinh tried to reunite with her oldest son but her attempts failed. A judge ended up ruling that her oldest child should stay with his father, as uprooting him would be a ‘substantial disruption’.
Her attorney from the first custody battle spoke to the media and said:
“She is very tiny, so her demure personality seemed to match her stature,” attorney Diane C. Howard said. “She was always very quiet, soft spoken, and pleasant to be around, even when dealing with the very stressful situation with her son.”
A lot of this info comes from the police affidavit, which I will put on the blog.
Gianni was getting ready for work and putting his things in his vehicle when Trinh approached him. She gave him a box of photos and asked Gianni to give them to her ex husband, Ed (Gianni and Ed worked together).
Gianni turned around to talk to Trinh and was met with her pointing a black revolver in his face. Trinh pulled the trigger twice but the gun did not fire.
Gianni managed to disarm Trinh by wrapping her in a ‘bear hug’. Trinh asked for the gun back and said it wasn’t loaded.
Gianni examined the gun and found that there were multiple rounds inside it. He ran inside and locked the door.
Trinh got into her white Toyota Sienna Minivan and drove away from the scene.
When she realised what was going on, Gianni’s mother Corinna Tini-Melchiondo ran to check on Trinh’s sons. She found them both with gunshot wounds to their heads.
‘Upon entry both boys were found still alive but in their beds with gunshot wounds to their heads,’ Bucks County District Attorney Matt Weintraub said.
Police started searching for Trinh. They found her at 11.30am on the same day. She was sitting inside her minivan, outside a church in Washington Crossing, PA. Trinh was removed from the van and taken into custody. Police have said that she was barely conscious and appeared to be under the influence of an unknown substance.
Trinh was taken to hospital and was discharged into incarceration on the same day.
When police searched the Toyota minivan, they found:
- .38 caliber ammunition
- Several empty heroin packages
- Several full heroin packages
There was also a note found in the vehicle which read:
“Please call 911 My children are Dead in their bed at 119 Timber Ridge Rd
Police also searched the suite where Trinh and the boys had been living. They found a handwritten will dated April 25, 2022. It was signed by Trinh. In the will, she detailed what should be done with her ashes, as well as the ashes of her sons.
They found a black .38 caliber Ruger revolver – I think this might be the one Gianni took off Trinh?
Police also discovered that Trinh was due to be evicted from the property on the day following the murders.
Trinh told police that she did not flee the scene, but that she went to NJ to obtain heroin with which she planned to kill herself. She told police she had never used drugs in the past.
On May 6, 2022 (four days after they were shot in the head by their mother), Nelson passed away at 11.47am and JT passed away at 3.24pm.
“I have been praying for these boys and their surviving family for days,” Bucks DA Mat Weintraub said.“I am so sad to hear of their passing. This defendant’s murder of two of her sons is unconscionable and horrific. We will do what needs to be done to seek justice for all of them.”
Trinh has been charged with:
- First degree murder
- Attempted murder
- Possessing instruments of crime
- Possession of a controlled substance