Monday, October 16, 2017

Mystery Monday: Chelsea Bruck

It's Monday, which means it's time for another...



Although most of the stories I post here are mysteries, sometimes I like to post stories that have a resolution. On May 16, 2017, this story had an arrest. But even when someone's arrested, so many questions still remain...


For young adults, Halloween means costumes and alcohol, usually in a party setting. For 22-year-old Chelsea Bruck, that costume was Poison Ivy, a popular character in the Batman franchise. On the night of October 25, 2014, Chelsea joined about 600 other people at a party in Monroe, Michigan.


Chelsea as Poison Ivy

At 12:45 a.m., Chelsea walked into a pole, injuring her forehead and nose. However, she remained at the party and was seen at around 3 a.m. near the parking lot. She'd left her cell phone and purse in the car of the person who had brought her, but that friend was no longer at the party. Several friends had offered her rides earlier in the evening and she'd declined. Now it looked like all those friends were long gone.



One witness reported seeing Chelsea having what appeared to be a cordial conversation with a man. They were last seen walking across the parking lot together, but nobody saw them get into a car.



For a while, it looked like her disappearance might remain a mystery. But in April of 2015, Chelsea's remains were found in rural Carleton, Michigan, which is a short drive from where the party was held.



In July of 2016, Daniel Clay was taken into custody after blood evidence matched him to the crime. Police said Clay knew information that only the killer would know.



According to Clay, he accidentally choked Chelsea during sex. However, authorities say Chelsea had injuries consistent with a violent attack. The medical examiner listed her cause of death as blunt trauma to the head.



In August 2016, Clay was also charged in the rape of a Monroe woman earlier that year. Was Clay the man seen speaking to Chelsea near the parking lot? Did she get in the car with him, hoping for a ride, only to realize too late that she'd made a mistake?

26 comments:

  1. That always frustrates me. Why would a woman go with a stranger. Obviously she was drunk, which is also frustrating. A friend should have been with her.

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    1. Drunk and desperate for a ride, I guess? Now women have Uber--hopefully that will save a few lives? Although guys like this will just find a different way to get victims.

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  2. I agree with Alex, why didn’t a friend stay with her? I would have never left my friend at a huge party especially if she was drunk. I would know that she could easily be taken advantage of. I bet he struck up a conversation with her and gave her more drinks. She probably thought he was a nice guy and since her thinking was impaired, she decided to go with him. I bet he struck her, raped her and then killed her. How sad.

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    1. There's a story I heard the other day about a girl who left her friend camping in the woods alone and she ended up missing. I think guys are usually involved. As in, "Hey, I met someone. You'll be okay here alone, right?" Girls definitely need to stick together when they're out late at night. Over and over, we see trouble happen after they separated.

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  3. This is unbelievable. It's one thing to have a conversation with a man, but another altogether to go off somewhere with him. I agree she had to have been drunk to have done this.

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    1. And maybe desperate to get home? She saw the number of cars (and her options) dwindling? I definitely think she should have looked for a couple or a woman to get a ride with, if she could have found that. Or maybe have someone call her a cab, if they had such a thing out there?

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  4. I remember this story in the news. So sad how she lost her cellphone, her friends didn't realize it and left, and then she made a bad mistake that was so tragic.

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    1. I imagine those friends will never forgive themselves.

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  5. So sad. I'm glad the caught the man who did this.

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  6. So, he "accidentally" choked her to death during sex? And then somehow lost her body? I'm glad they caught him, and I hope he spends the rest of his life in prison.

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  7. So sad that her friends knew she was drunk and didn't insist that she leave with one of them, and that she didn't take rides from others at the party. I'm thrilled that the murderer was caught and charged. Hugs and Happy Monday! RO

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  8. Hi Stephanie - it's amazing what goes on ... and awful what can happen - I hope that guy is the right guy ...cheers Hilary

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  9. Tragic. We need to take care of each other. I've enjoyed drinking at times, but I'm not really a drinker. These days I feel that alcohol is involved in a lot of serious problems.

    Love,
    Janie

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  10. Friends aren't what they used to be. Where was the designated driver? Even before designated driver days we never left a friend at a party--especially when they are drunk and this was one huge party with 600 people!!

    Yup--he was probably there. Be great pickings for a guy like him. A big enough party that a stranger could waltz in without notice...drunk girls. Just needed to wait around until one had been left without a ride. Sad.

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  11. A hideous ending to a happy event.

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  12. That's so sad. I'm surprised it doesn't happen more often after seeing how naive girls can be in college.

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  13. Friends need to step up to the plate. Never let a friend leave drunk, and especially with a stranger. Tragic!!!

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  14. I'm glad that sometimes the bad guy gets caught. Young women drinking at a large party is a dangerous thing for them.

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  15. Sad story, but glad an arrest was made. You're right though, a lot of questions remain.

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  16. This is a parent's nightmare. I worried about both my kids, that they would face something like this and not have the wisdom to deal with it. My heart goes out to Chelsea's parents.

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  17. I'm glad they caught him. The murder may have been an accident, but not the cover up. :-(

    Anna from elements of emaginette

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  18. Hi Stephanie, fortunately you made an error in your opening. Daniel Clay was actually FOUND GUILTY of Chelsea's murder in May (not arrested). In July he was sentenced to life without parole. So at least there is some vindication (I always assume these assholes will get off on some technicality), even if it's a minor solace to her friends and family.

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  19. So very sad!! Why go in a car with a stranger??

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  20. Sad story, but at least it was solved.

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