Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

The Abduction of Carlie Brucia

Downward Spiral

Schorpen's life has continued to play out in the newspapers in the years since Carlie's murder.

In August 2004, her son, Leif, 7, was taken from her when the state determined that Schorpen's chronic drug use made her an unfit mother. Weeks later, Steven Kansler was arrested for domestic violence after a fight with Schorpen.

In July 2005, Schorpen's mother, Eileen, evicted the woman from the McIntosh Road home, which the mother owned.

Authorities said the house had become a drug hangout. Police were called there repeatedly, including one night when a man was stabbed in a drug dispute while Susan Schorpen was passed out.

Eileen Schorpen told reporters she had had enough.

"I can't pay her bills anymore," she said. "She's got to get out on her own." Months later, Mrs. Schorpen died of cancer.

In January 2006, Susan Schorpen was accused of stealing $300 cash, a $5,000 ring and a credit card from her father, Egil Schorpen. The father also said he gave his daughter a check for $800 to pay for drug rehab, but she cashed it to buy narcotics.

On Jan. 19, 2006, she was arrested for prostitution in St. Petersburg, Fla. She served several months in jail and was locked up on the day that Joe Smith was sentenced to death for murdering her daughter.

In June 2006, she was arrested again for prostitution in Manatee County after agreeing to perform oral sex for $20. Police found a crack pipe in her bra. Schorpen got 90 days for that conviction.

She told a judge at sentencing that her drug problem and depression had raged since Carlie's murder. Schorpen promised to do her time, then move to the Florida Keys to make a fresh start.

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