Dozens gather to remember Chelsea Bruck

Detroit News staff and wire reports

Maybee — Several dozen people gathered at a church Tuesday evening to commemorate the life of a 22-year-old woman whose skeletal remains were found last week.

The mother of Chelsea Bruck said at the candlelight vigil that while the loss of her daughter has been painful, she's grateful her family has some closure and can begin the healing process.

Bruck of Maybee disappeared after attending a Halloween party Oct. 26 in Frenchtown Township. Her body was found Friday about 12 miles away from the party at a construction site in a wooded area near railroad tracks.

Her body was discovered by the property owner, investigators said. Due to advanced decomposition, positive identification was made through dental records.

Monroe County Sheriff Dale Malone said Saturday that investigators believe the unknown person responsible for the homicide "was familiar with railroad tracks there" and "in all likelihood the crimes were committed at or near where the body was located."

Evidence, including a homemade Halloween costume Bruck wore at the party of a Batman villain, Poison Ivy, was found April 5 in an industrial site in Flat Rock about 10 miles away, investigators said.

Her family was notified Saturday afternoon after officials made a positive identification. The family has requested privacy.

Officials with the Wayne County Medical Examiner's Office have not yet determined a cause of death.

"The autopsy is incomplete," Wayne County Medical Examiner's Office spokesman Ryan Bridges said Sunday. "We need more time to determine exactly how she died. And the whys and whos will be answered by someone else."

For months, hundreds of volunteers searched for Bruck, staging rallies, candlelight vigils and public prayers. Many wore T-shirts with Bruck's name and photo, and passed out fliers seeking information. Her brother, Nathaniel Bruck, expressed gratitude Saturday in a message posted to a "Find Chelsea Bruck" website that read: "I want to thank everyone for their efforts. And while this may be the end of the search, it is also a new beginning. The beginning of the search for justice for my sister."

Associated Press contributed.