MONROE (WWJ) – A 28-year-old man who confessed to killing a woman he met at a massive Halloween party in Monroe County and hiding her body miles away will spend the rest of his life in prison.
Daniel Clay is expected to appear in court Thursday to face a mandatory sentence of life in prison without parole after being convicted of first-degree murder earlier this year in the 2014 death of Chelsea Bruck.
Authorities say Clay admitted to killing Bruck, but claimed she died accidentally during rough sex.
Bruck was last seen alive at a huge party at a rural property on Post Road in Frenchtown Township, early in the morning of Oct. 26, 2014. The 22-year-old’s Poison Ivy character Halloween Costume was found about six months later at an industrial site. Her remains were discovered a few weeks later — on April 24, 2015 — in a wooded lot on Briar Hill Road in Ash Township, about 12 miles away from her last known whereabouts.
Clay was arrested in May in the theft of tattoo equipment; and, in July, his girlfriend allegedly told police he’d called her from jail and confessed to the killing, claiming he’d accidentally choked her too hard during rough, but consensual sexual activity in his car.
In contrast to Clay’s story, however, the Wayne County Medical Examiner found that Bruck died from blunt force trauma to the head.
During police questioning, Clay reportedly admitted to having a hand in Bruck’s death and police said DNA taken from him while he was in jail matched DNA found on Bruck’s costume.
A jury in May deliberated for less than a few hours before coming to a guilty verdict against Clay.