Defense claims Chelsea Bruck died of erotic asphyxiation as trial begins

The murder trial is underway in the death of Chelsea Bruck from Monroe County woman who went missing after 2014 Halloween party in Frenchtown Township.

Prosecutors called several witnesses, establishing a timeline for the hours before and after the killing.


"I'm just standing there going, how are we ever going to find her in this green costume in a field of green and I just stood there and screamed, then I just started calling her name," said Leanndra Bruck, the victim's mother.

She talked about desperately searching for her daughter in the days after she disappeared.

Chelsea's body was found six months later in a shallow grave.

Daniel Clay was charged with her murder and disposing the body.

The medical examiner says she died of blunt force trauma. Clay claims she suffocated, during rough but consensual sex.

"With erotic asphyxiation, there are certain risks involved. Unfortunately, in this case, during the period of time that they engaged in this practice, Chelsea Bruck tragically passed away," said Russel Smith, the suspect's attorney.

Prosecutors called Chelsea's friends to the stand. They testified Chelsea had been drinking, but not heavily.

Also on the stand was a coworker of Chelsea's, who also has a child with Clay.

She saw them both at the party but never saw them talking.

She did say Clay left her voicemails after he was arrested last summer.

"He said tell (our child) I love him. I'm going to be gone for a really long time," said Jessic Pribyl.

Also on the stand was Clay's former roommate, who says she spoke to him the day after the party.

"We asked him how the party was and that's when he had said that a young girl had gone missing before it was on the news but it was already all over Facebook. So I thought that maybe he had gotten it from Facebook," said Reanne Schaf.

Clay is expected to take the stand at some point during the trial.

He previously told police he "freaked out" after Chelsea died.

Testimony will resume Wednesday morning.