Remains found in Monroe County identified as Chelsea Bruck

Dental records used to confirm remains belonged to Bruck

MONROE COUNTY, Mich. – Decomposed remains of a woman found at a home construction site in Monroe County's Ash Township have been identified as 22-year-old Chelsea Bruck.

Bruck's body was uncovered Friday by workers trying to free a stuck dump truck.

View: Timeline of Chelsea Bruck's disappearance

Deputies said they received confirmation at 4 p.m. Saturday from the Wayne County Medical Examiner's Office that the body was that of Bruck. Dental records were used to confirm the remains belonged to Bruck, and investigators Saturday said evidence at the scene indicated a homicide.

"The medical examiner has not completed their autopsy, therefore I cannot give you official case of death at this time," Sheriff Dale Malone said. "In fact, they stated a thorough investigation could take up to a month to complete."

"We notified the family today," said Detective Sgt. Jeff Pauli. "They are taking it as expected. They do ask that everyone give them their privacy during this difficult time. They are very appreciative of the effort of the Sheriff's Office, state police, the FBI, the citizens, the volunteers. It's hard for us to say, several months later, exactly when (Bruck died), we are still trying to figure that out."

RAW: Press conference on Chelsea Bruck investigation

Deputies did not comment on any suspects or a person of interest.

"I believe the person (responsible) was familiar with the railroad tracks that are there (where body found)," said Malone. "I believe that person is familiar with the area and that's what led that person to that area."

The 22-year-old Maybee resident had been missing since Oct. 26 when she disappeared after attending a Halloween party in Newport. She was dressed as comic villain Poison Ivy and was wearing a leaf-covered top and purple wig.

Deputies said clothing found in Flat Rock on April 5 was connected to the case. They believed it was Bruck's costume, but not the entire costume.

"Visually, there was evidence on the clothing," Malone said. "It was a unique costume. She handmade the costume and so it was one of a kind."

Malone said he does not believe crime occurred where the clothing was recovered.

"In all likelihood, the crime was committed at or near where the body was located," said Malone. "All indications (the body) has been there probably since the day of the incident."

The property owner who found the body is not a person of interest, deputies said.

"They were devastated by what they found out there," Malone said.

Deputies said hundreds of people were interviewed in the case, which included a 550-page report and about 200 pages of phone records.

"This case was the only homicide we investigated last year, so that will tell you about the numbers in Monroe County," Malone said. "Neighbors do not have anything to worry about. You're going to have isolated incidents like this in every community throughout the state."

Evidence technicians with Michigan State Police were called in to assist processing the scene.

Watch Local 4 News and stay with for updates on this developing story.

About the Authors:

Priya joined WDIV-Local 4 in 2013 as a reporter and fill-in anchor. Education: B.A. in Communications/Post Grad in Advanced Journalism