14 Year Old Michaela Bruce Missing Since 2/25/14 in Springfield, OH … Abducted by Mark Edwards for Second Time, Felony Arrest Warrant Issued
14 year old Michaela Bruce has been missing since Tuesday, February 25, 2014 in Springfield, Ohio. According to reports, Michaela Bruce was abducted by 44 year old Mark Edwards for the second time since September 2013. Authorities say Edwards is known to be a survivalist, aka bum, hobo. With his pending trial coming up in March 2014 for the abduction and six counts of unlawful sex with a minor from the September incident where the two ran away, this most likely prompted his incident. The Sheriff’s office believes that Michaela Bruce, and the public could be at risk if the suspect, Mark Edwards, attempts to do something desperate to escape capture. With this being the second abduction of the 14 year old girl, when captured it is not going to end well for this suspect.
She likened her daughter’s relationship with Edwards to being in a “cult.”
“It’s like her little brain has been drilled over and over and over that he loves her. I trusted him. His daughter was my daughter’s best friend. His wife was my friend,” Tammy Bruce said.
Michaela Bruce (left) – Mark Edwards (right)
UPDATE I: Police receive numerous tips on the two and spotted rental car they were in but cut off pursuit.
Earlier Wednesday night, Fred Stegner, who operates the Springfield Soup Kitchen, 830 W. Main St., told News Center 7 Edwards and Bruce visited the facility sometime before 8 p.m. Tuesday. That would have been roughly an hour before the girl’s mother reported her missing at 9:02 p.m. in German Twp., near Springfield.
Edwards eats at the facility regularly, Stegner said, but Tuesday night was the first time anyone there has seen him with the girl. There were 200 to 250 people there at the time. Springfield police and sheriff’s deputies showed photos of the man and girl to volunteers Wednesday morning.
Edwards “came in with the blond lady,” Stegner said. “I didn’t know she was 14 until I came in today[Wednesday], but many volunteers told me they saw them.”
Also Wednesday evening, sheriff’s Sgt. Mike Young said deputies have continued to receive hundreds of tips, the most credible of which is that Edwards and Bruce may have been near State Route 235 and Interstate 270 late Wednesday morning. Deputies also searched several vacant houses in the area where Edwards and the girl abandoned a rental car he was driving.
Acting on one of the early tips, deputies responded to a Knight’s Inn on West Main Street in Springfield at 2:30 a.m. Wednesday to look for Bruce and Edwards. Items believed to belong to Edwards and Bruce were located in a room. The state bureau of criminal investigation is analyzing items found in that room for DNA, Young said.
Deputies later spotted that rental car and pursued it but cut off that pursuit when the car ran a red light. Authorities found it abandoned at Rebert Pike and Cottage Drive in Springfield. A search of the area did not turn up Edwards or the girl. Officials said Edwards’ wife rented the vehicle Tuesday.
National Center for Missing & Exploited Children
click on pic to enlarge
UPDATE II: Edwards was arrested in September 2013 for abduction of Michaela Bruce and faced a March 4 trial date on six counts of unlawful sexual conduct with a minor and interference with custody involving Bruce.
Edwards was arrested in September 2013 when he was found with Bruce after she went missing from her school bus stop. At that time, Edwards and the girl werefound in a green Ford Expedition in the 3300 block of Ohio 41. She was hiding in the rear of the vehicle under blankets. Deputies found a Taser, knives, condoms, a spear and other items in the SUV. Officials have said Edwards is known to be a survivalist.