Update V – Again, updates are at the end of the post in chronological order. Melissa Bruce has pleaded insanity.
Update IV – I have updated the end of the entry. Scott Bruce has finally been assigned an attorney and will be making a pre-trial appearance January 22nd.
Update – Scott and Melissa Bruce made appearances in court Thursday. The rest of the update at the bottom of the post.
Updated Tuesday September 23rd 7:35AM – We still don’t know how the child known by neighbors as Savannah Rose Pioch Bruce died but there are more questions. Apparently Melissa Bruce, the girl’s mother is the second wife of Scott Bruce, the father. The mother of the four teenagers that lived at the house has questions that she wants answered. She tried all weekend to find out what happened to her kids and where they were but since the local and state officials handling the case were off for the weekend she was unable to contact her kids.
The teenagers range in age from 14 to 17 and Amanda Birdsong has not been able to see them. She said that “It’s a shame that it happened. I found out through the newspaper, it’s a shock that this happened but I know how he was when the kids were young. Dayum.
Birdsong was also concerned about reports from the neighbors that the kids always appeared hungry as she stated that she paid child support every two weeks which should have covered the cost of their food.
The results of the coroner’s forensic autopsy are complete and as of yesterday morning Deputy Coroner John Sullivan said that they should be back within two to three days. It will take 60 days for the final report to be complete but what they will release is the cause and means of death, which hopefully will be enough to charge someone.
Speaking of charges, Scott Bruce was arrested last year at his house for Battery as well as being arrested in 2000 for the same offense. I don’t have any info yet as to whether he was convicted or not.
According to the commenters over at WNDU they let the girl lie there for two days prior to calling 911. Of course this is the Internet so you are a fool if you believe everything that is put online.
Scott and Melissa Bruce from Michigan City, Indiana were both arrested on Friday in the death of their four year old daughter Savannah. They have so far been charged with Neglect of a Dependent.
According to a neighbor of the Bruce’s Melissa’s main concern was that she not go to jail, that the four-year-old had bruises on her face. Michigan City police aren’t going into any kind of detail about what happened, just that an autopsy was supposed to take place earlier today and that police were dispatched to what looks to be an apartment complex in reference to a four-year-old not breathing.
At least three other children, teenagers, live in the same apartment as the deceased child but I don’t know yet if they were brothers and sisters of Savannah.
One of the neighbors claimed that the children looked hungry often and that she would feed them when they could.
I did manage to find Scott Bruce’s MySpace page which has not been logged in to since September 7th. It’s set to private. The caption is “Scott Loves Melissa!” and the picture (shown above) looks like they were pretty happy. Their neighbors described them as being good parents, maybe a bit strict. Hell, that could describe me as well as half of the parents I know.
Regardless of what happened I know the parents and anyone else that may know them must be pretty distraught right now. As more details come out I will try and post them here.
According to WNDU Scott and Melissa Bruce have only been married for about a month and that they met on the Internet. The station also mentions that none of the teen’s friends were allowed near the upstairs for the last couple of days.
Update – According to WNDU Savannah Rose Pioch Bruce died of an ‘injury to the neck’ and they stuffed her in a sleeping bag for an undetermined amount of time as one of the commenters below has said.
Update II – Savannah was a very loved little girl. I mistakenly thought that her last name was also Bruce but as I have run across death notices on the Internet as well as a tribute from her grandparents in her name I have made the changes to the entry. I apologize if I offended anyone by calling her by the wrong name.
Update III – Both Scott and Melissa Bruce made appearances in La Porte Superior Court yesterday. Scott Bruce had been denied a public defender a couple of times before but once the judge saw a financial need statement she changed her mind and he will now get an attorney. He’s still spending quality time in the La Porte County Jail.
Melissa Bruce, meanwhile, is out on bail and appeared with her attorney Charles Nightingale. He just got the discovery information last week and asked for a continuance until January 15th, which the judge granted.
Update IV – I wrote in my last update that the judge had finally granted a public defender to Scott Bruce but apparently what actually happened is that during Superior Court Judge Kathleen Lang’s absence Senior Judge Donald Harper is the one that appointed a lawyer for Bruce. That lawyer is James Cupp, who entered his appearance as attorney for Scott J. Bruce a little over a week ago. Judge Lang set January 22nd as the date for an Omnibus Hearing for Scott Bruce. An Omnibus hearing is a pretrial hearing that is normally scheduled a couple of weeks prior to arraignment. The prosecution will introduce evidence including testimony and both they and the defense will discuss various pretrial matters and get all of the bullshit out of the way before the trial.
Melissa’s hearing, which I mentioned above, is on January 15th.
There has been a bit of discussion in the comments about various things such as allegations of drug abuse, whether or not the biological father David Pioch was beating Melissa prior to their divorce, battered wife syndrome and the such but what it all comes down to is the fact that as a parent it’s our job to take care of the kids and regardless of whether Melissa Bruce stood by and watched or was a full participant she is still guilty of helping to kill her child. The only damn thing she was worried about when emergency services arrived at the house is whether she and Scott were going to be arrested for child abuse. What about your fucking daughter, Melissa?
I also mentioned in an early update that it was rumored that Savannah had been beaten and stuffed in a sleeping bag. According to the official coroner’s report she was beaten, tied up, stuck in a sleeping bag and left to die without medical attention. Ahh, there’s a bit of motherly love for you. Assholes. All of these folks defending the two murderers just have no clue. Too bad beating someone to death is considered cruel and unusual. Let the punishment fit the crime. It would certainly save the taxpayers a bit of money.
Updated March 8th, 2009 – In looking through some news feeds for updates on a couple of stories I’ve posted here I came across this one about Savannah Pioch again. Apparently Melissa Bruce’s attorney filed notice of an insanity defense last month. The court will appoint two psychologists and one psychiatrist to evakuate Melissa and submit their reports one her.
Melissa Bruce is currently facing four counts of neglect of a dependent child and she is currently out on bond.