Body found in Monroe ID'd as Chelsea Bruck

The Detroit News

A body discovered Friday afternoon in dense woods near Interstate 275 in Monroe County has been identified as Chelsea Bruck, who has been missing since October.

Wayne County Medical Examiner spokesman Ryan Bridges said the body was positively identified as Bruck, 22, on Saturday.

"It's been ID'd through dental records," said Bridges.

Monroe County Sheriff Dale Malone said evidence collected at the scene indicates that Bruck's death was a homicide, although a cause of death remains inconclusive, The Monroe News reported.

Monroe County Sheriff Dale Malone addresses the media during a news conference in Monroe on Saturday regarding the remains found in a wooded area in Ash Township which have been identified as belonging to Chelsea Bruck.

"Our thoughts and prayers are with the Bruck family," the sheriff said.

Bruck's body was found at 2 p.m. in a wooded parcel by a railroad track near Carleton, said Heath Velliquette, chief deputy of the Monroe County Sheriff's Office .

A property owner was using a bulldozer to clear heavy brush on his land when the machine malfunctioned, said Velliquette.

While waiting to resume work with the heavy machinery, the property owner stumbled upon the body, said the sheriff's office.

The decomposed body appeared to be in the woods for "months," said Velliquette.

He declined to say whether the body was buried in any way.

No weapon was discovered at the site, he said.

Because of the long period the body was in the woods, the sheriff's office used an anthropologist to help determine the identity, he said.

Two weeks ago, clothing and other items that may be related to Bruck's disappearance were found at an industrial site in Flat Rock, just a few miles from where the body was found Friday.

Earlier this month Bruck's family addressed the discovery of "clothing and other evidence" found at the industrial site in Flat Rock. They asked the public to help them find their daughter.

"We need to stress: This is our lives, not a police show, not a detective show," said Chelsea's mother, Leannda Bruck, at an April 8 press conference in Newport.

The discovered fabric materials — the first possible break since Bruck's disappearance — are being examined by a Michigan State Police forensic specialist.

The search followed one in March along the Lake Erie shore in Monroe County in where Flat Rock and state police helped the Monroe County Sheriff's Office search a field near Vreeland and Peters roads.

Staff Writer Derek Draplin, Francis X. Donnelly and Candice Williams contributed.