Sheriff: Many witnesses too high to help search

AP News
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Posted: Nov 05, 2014 5:44 PM
Sheriff: Many witnesses too high to help search

MONROE, Mich. (AP) — Investigators have interviewed more than 100 witnesses about a Michigan woman's disappearance from an outdoor Halloween party, but many were too high or drunk to offer much help, a sheriff said Wednesday.

There's no evidence that Chelsea Bruck was hurt or killed, said Monroe County Sheriff Dale Malone. But her Oct. 26 disappearance in southeastern Michigan has prompted a search that now includes all of the state as well as Ohio and Indiana.

Malone said many of the partygoers interviewed have admitted to being "highly intoxicated" and have not offered the tips that authorities hoped they would. Another challenge has been the fact that the roughly 600 people who attended the party were in costumes, he said.

"That's the problem — that's what we're dealing with," he said during a news conference.

The event in Frenchtown Township, 35 miles southwest of Detroit, was thrown by the lead singer of a local metal band that also performed.

The 22-year-old Bruck attended the party as the comic villain, Poison Ivy, and was wearing a leaf-covered top and dark purple wig. Authorities say she doesn't drive. A friend had taken her to the party.

They say she became separated from the friend, who was carrying Bruck's phone at Bruck's request.

Malone said Bruck tripped and ran into a wooden post around 1 a.m., cutting her nose and forehead. She called the friend from someone else's phone to tell her about the accident. The friend told police she looked for Bruck for an hour and then left when she couldn't find her.

The sheriff said a man selling band merchandise saw Bruck about 3 a.m. She was talking to a young man and walking toward parked vehicles with him. The witness "didn't see anything out of the ordinary," Malone said.

Bruck had been drinking but didn't appear to be under any duress, the sheriff said.

"She was not in any fear," he said.