Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

The Abduction of Carlie Brucia

Typical Tween

Carlie Brucia
Carlie Brucia

The child's name was Carlie Brucia.

She was just 11 years old, born March 16, 1992. Carlie was a sixth-grader at Sarasota's McIntosh Middle School, just a few blocks from the site of her abduction.

At 120 pounds, she could have been mistaken for an older teenager.

But she was a typical tween.

She loved the mall, and she adored singer/actress Jennifer Lopez. She was bubbly and animated, the sort of kid who liked to greet her girlfriends with big hugs.

Her parents, Susan Schorpen and Joe Brucia, met and married on Long Island, where Carlie was born. They split up before the girl took her first steps.

Schorpen took Carlie to Sarasota to be near her grandparents, and the child became a seasoned traveler at a young age on occasional airplane trips to New York to see her father.

Schorpen eventually remarried, and Carlie lived with her mother, stepfather and half-brother, Leif, in a modest house on McIntosh Road. She was walking home after a sleepover with friends at the home of Connie Arnold, at Bee Ridge and Lalani Boulevard.

She phoned her mother from the Arnold house at 6 p.m. to say that she was leaving to walk home.

The trip of just under a mile along the tree-lined Bee Ridge Road should have taken 15 or 20 minutes.

When she hadn't shown up by 6:30, her stepfather, Steven Kansler, called the Arnold home, then went looking for Carlie.

Steve Kansler
Steve Kansler

The girl had been missing just 10 minutes before her mother called 911.

Schorpen assumed authorities would immediately issue an Amber Alert for her daughter, to place the entire community on the lookout for the girl.

She was wrong.

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