Michigan Man Accused of Murder of Missing Woman Now Charged in Separate Sexual Assault

Daniel Clay allegedly found his way into an apartment last month and then sexually assaulted a woman, a source tells PEOPLE

Photo: Tom Hawley/AP

Additional criminal charges have been filed against the man accused of murdering Chelsea Bruck, a 22-year-old Michigan woman who vanished from a massive Halloween party in 2014, triggering a months-long search, PEOPLE confirms.

Daniel Clay, 27, was arraigned Monday on first-degree home invasion and first-degree criminal sexual conduct counts, in an unconnected incident.

According to a prosecution source, Clay allegedly found his way into a Monroe, Michigan, apartment in July and then sexually assaulted a woman. The victim immediately reported the incident to police, the source says.

The alleged home invasion and sexual assault happened just prior to Clay’s arrest in Bruck’s death, which is unconnected: A law enforcement official tells PEOPLE Clay was arrested July 21 after DNA evidence linked him to the slaying.

He has been charged with second-degree murder in Bruck’s case, according to the Toledo Blade.

The incriminating DNA evidence was collected from Clay in May, when he was arrested on separate theft charges, authorities say.

Want to keep up with the latest crime coverage? Click here to get breaking crime news, ongoing trial coverage and details of intriguing unsolved cases in the True Crime Newsletter.

Clay has not entered a plea to the new charges, and his attorney was not immediately available for comment. On Monday, a judge ordered Clay held without bond and ordered him to submit to psychiatric testing to determine whether he is competent to stand trial in Bruck’s death.

Friends and family say Bruck vanished from a crowded Halloween party in Frenchtown Township back in October 2014.

She had attended the party, along with hundreds of others, dressed as the Batman villain Poison Ivy – but then she was gone without a trace.

“We’re a very close family, and we talk all the time. She was not unhappy or wanting to walk away,” Bruck’s sister, Kassandra, told PEOPLE soon after she vanished. “I’m getting married in two months and Chelsea is in the wedding. On the morning before she disappeared, she sent me a Facebook message saying, ‘I can’t wait until you get married.’ She wouldn’t go somewhere for this long without telling us.”

Bruck’s body was found months later, in April, after police found her costume.

Bruck had suffered blunt force trauma to the head and had three identifiable injuries, officials said, according to the Blade. But asphyxiation could not be ruled out due to the body’s decomposition. She was found naked, according to the paper.

“I want to thank everyone for their efforts,” Bruck’s brother, Nathaniel, wrote in a message after the discovery. “And while this may be the end of the search, it is also a new beginning. The beginning of the search for justice for my sister.”

Clay faces life behind bars if convicted of Bruck’s murder.

Related Articles