Monroe County Body Is Chelsea Bruck, Missing Since Halloween

Monroe County

The body of a Michigan woman, missing since last fall, has been discovered in Monroe County, located on a southeastern Michigan new home construction site. Ryan Bridges, who works for the Wayne County medical examiner’s office, said the skeletal remains were identified via dental records as those of Chelsea Bruck, 22, who has been missing since attending a Halloween party last fall.

Bruck’s body was discovered in Ash Township in Monroe County, approximately 15 miles from the location of the Halloween party she had attended in Newport, which is southwest of Detroit, on Friday. She had gone to the party dressed as Poison Ivy, a comic book villain, and wearing a purple wig and a leaf-covered top. Construction workers discovered her nude body while trying to free a dump truck, which had become bogged down in the wet ground at the site.

Earlier this month, and approximately 10 miles away from where the remains were discovered today, Bruck’s Poison Ivy costume was found at an industrial site. Visible evidence was detected on the clothing, according to Sheriff Dale Malone of Monroe County, who added that based on findings at the site, it appears as though Bruck was murdered either there or somewhere nearby.

A cause of death has not yet been determined and, because of the decomposition of the body, it could take weeks to discover, said Detective Sergeant Jeff Pauli. Nevertheless, police have vowed to find the person responsible for Bruck’s death. Malone expressed his department’s sympathy to the family of the woman found.

Bodies of volunteers and investigators have been looking for the missing Monroe County woman ever since she disappeared on Oct. 26 following a Halloween party, and her family had distributed over 1 million flyers. Purple ribbons were tied around posts and trees to signify hope for the safe return of Bruck to her home in Maybee.

Police have spoken to a witness who saw a costumed Bruck, accompanied by a man and walking toward some parked cars, at about 3 a.m. that day. Sheriff Malone declined to say if any suspects had been identified, but he expressed confidence that the perpetrator would be arrested. To date, investigators have amassed a wealth of phone records and interviews which make up the police report, which is 550 pages long.

Malone believes it possible that whoever killed Bruck “is familiar with the area…with the railroad tracks.” The remains were discovered off an access road constructed in August which ran along the railroad tracks and led to the 13 acres of Monroe County private property. Although a chain had functioned as a makeshift gate, construction workers used the road to prepare the site for the construction of a new home. The property owners are not considered suspects and are said to be “devastated” by the discovery.

Although Bruck’s family was mainly silent on Saturday, her older brother posted a message on the Facebook page set up to find his sister. In the post, Nathaniel Bruck “thank[ed] everyone for their efforts.” He recognized that the search for his younger sister had come to an end, but “the search for justice for my sister” had begun.

After the remains of Bruck, who had been missing since Halloween, were discovered in Monroe County on Friday, the body of a second woman was discovered in Wayne County on Saturday. The remains, which have yet to be identified, were found in Brownstown Township in a body of water. No further details have been released.

By Jennifer Pfalz

CBS News
St. Louis Today
Detroit Free Press
Monroe News

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