Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

The Abduction of Carlie Brucia

Too Late

Carlie Brucia
Carlie Brucia

The search for Carlie Brucia was an American crime tableau that has become all too familiar.

Dozens of investigators worked the case while scores of volunteers scoured her neighborhood and stapled missing-girl posters far and wide.

City officials put up a $50,000 reward, saying the surveillance camera footage of the abduction had made it seem more personal. The mayor called Carlie "Sarasota's child."

Carlie's mother, Susan Schorpen, stood before news cameras and pleaded for the girl's safe return.

"I want to address my Carlie," she said. "I love you. I have this phone on at all times...I'm begging and pleading, please help me bring my daughter home."

"Carlie, if you can hear this, your mom's at home waiting for you," said the girl's father, Joe Brucia.

Joe Brucia
Joe Brucia

Even the police chimed in with personal messages to the girl. One lieutenant said, "Most of all, Carlie, do not give up."

TV news crews set up camp near the car wash, which was soon festooned with signs of support: "We miss you," "Come home soon," "We wish u were here" and "Our thoughts and prayers are with you."

But all the attention, all the tears, all the good wishes, all the reward moneyit was all too late for Carlie Brucia.

She was dead by the time the Amber Alert was issueddead, it seems likely, before the Super Bowl game had ended.

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