Long-time suspect charged in death of Tri-State man missing since January
The man called 911 the same day Roger Bruce went missing, two days before the missing person report emerged.
BATAVIA, Ohio (WXIX) - A suspect faces charges in the case of a missing Hamersville man now supposed dead, according to the Clermont County Sheriff’s Office.
Roger “Shane” Bruce, 52, was last seen leaving his home on Skiffsville Road in Brown County on Jan. 21.
That night, Clermont County Emergency Communications got a 911 call from Zachary Scott, 30, claiming that Bruce was unresponsive in a car on Laurel Point Isabel Road in Washington Township.
Scott said Bruce had overdosed on drugs and that he’d administered Narcan to him, according to the sheriff’s office. Scott then hung up the call. The dispatcher called him back, and he answered, saying Bruce had woken up thanks to the Narcan and fled in his car.
“Yeah, he took off, like when the Narcan came in, he took off like a bat out of hell,” Scott said during the call.
Clermont County sheriff’s deputies went to Laurel Point Isabel Road but couldn’t find Scott, Bruce or Bruce’s car.
Bruce’s family noticed his disappearance on Jan. 23, at which time the Brown County Sheriff’s Office created a missing person report.
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Sheriff’s detectives interviewed Scott the next day. In the interview, per the sheriff’s office, Scott changed his story, which prompted charges of obstruction and falsification. Scott pleaded guilty and received a 60-day sentence.
While behind bars, Scott gave detectives another location they might search for Bruce. Detectives searched the area and discovered Scott’s tip to be misleading. He was charged with counts of falsification and evidence tampering.
Documents show Scott admitted to deputies that the day Bruce vanished, he took off with a bunch of items, including a wallet, backpack and laptops, knowing the things he had taken could help with the investigation.
Scott also pleaded guilty to these charges, receiving another 200 days. He remains at the Clermont County Jail serving out that sentence.
Scott provided detectives with multiple other places in Washington Township where they might find Bruce. Detectives have searched those places and more with drones, bloodhounds and cadaver K9s. They have also interviewed multiple persons of interest.
Texas EquuSearch’s Midwest division search and recovery team conducted an extensive search on June 25.
Bruce’s body remains missing.
Nevertheless, a Clermont County grand jury on Thursday indicted Scott on counts of involuntary manslaughter, gross abuse of a corpse, corrupting another with drugs and evidence tampering.
FOX19 reached out to the Clermont County Prosecutor’s Office to ask why Scott was indicted on the manslaughter charge when the body hasn’t been found. We are waiting to hear back.
Scott will be arraigned in Clermont County Common Pleas Court on Sept. 10.
The investigation remains ongoing.
Anyone with information related to the disappearance of Shane Bruce is asked to call the Brown County Sheriff’s Office (937) 378-4435 or the Clermont County Sheriff’s Office at (513) 732-7510.
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