Authorities in Strongsville, Ohio announced Tuesday that they have in their custody a man who is suspected of fatally stabbing and shooting a popular middle school teacher in her home, a week ago
Strongsville police announced that the man who would have become the son-in-law of middle school teacher Melinda Pleskovic is charged in her stabbing and shooting death.
Jeffrey Scullin Jr., 20, is charged with aggravated murder in the Oct. 24 slaying, according to sources familiar with the case. He is in police custody and is being held on $1 million bond.
Strongsville Police Chief Mark Fender said Scullin had been living in the home where 49-year-old Pleskovic was found with stab wounds to her back. A medical examiner said she died of “gunshot wounds and sharp force injuries.”
Scullin was engaged to Pleskovic’s daughter, Anna, according to his Facebook page.
Victim: Middle school teacher Melinda Pleskovic had posted about being harassed in her own home to her Facebook page recently
A copy of the marriage license filed in Cuyahoga County probate court shows that the suspect was living at the Pleskovic family home on Blazing Star Drive, along with his fiancée Anna Pleskovic. His occupation is listed as a “HVAC worker” on the filing.
Bruce Pleskovic, Melinda’s husband, called 911 last Monday evening, claiming he and Scullin found his wife on the floor inside the home.
He also told the dispatcher that their son, who has Down syndrome, was already at the home.
The widower during the calls, claimed that Strongsville police failed to properly investigate a series of strange occurrences at the home dating back to January. He told a 911 dispatcher that they had been dealing with break-ins for a year: “We’ve had people trying to break into our house all year, stealing s–t,” he said. “I just got in the door with my new son-in-law.”Just days before, police investigated a report that an unknown man tried to enter the home by forcing open the back door.
Jeffrey Sculling Jr [left], has been charged with the murder of Melinda Pleskovic [right]. Sculling had been scheduled to wed the victim’s daughter on the day of her funeral
Records show police investigated a report of a theft from a car in January, and they went to the house again in July to investigate a suspicious person.
Officers also were called in September when Melinda Pleskovic told officers a set of car keys were missing and that she kept finding her car unlocked and the alarm kept going off. Police have not indicated whether they believe the incidents are related to the murder.
The future son-in-law also called 911 to report that Pleskovic was found dead.
Scullin said he got home with Pleskovic’s husband, Bruce, and immediately got the Pleskovic’s son, who has Down syndrome, and his young daughter out of the home, he told a dispatcher.
He told the dispatcher their son can’t speak. Scullin noted that the door was locked when they got to the home, but a dispatcher said someone found their dog wandering around.
“We just came home, she’s on the kitchen floor,” Scullin said. “I took her son and my daughter outside. Her husband is inside with her right now.”
The dispatcher asked if her husband attacked her, to which Scullin replied, “No, no, no, we just came home, we just came home,” he said.
He noted that she had blood all over her, but said he only got a glimpse of her. He said he just wanted to get the children out of the home.The dispatcher asked if anyone wanted to harm her and Scullin said no.
Bruce and Melinda Pleskovic during a vacation in Myrtle Beach
Then on Tuesday Strongsville police announced that Jeffrey Scullin, who was soon going to be Pleskovic’s son-in-law, is charged with aggravated murder in her Oct. 24 killing.
Pleskovic was a sixth-grade teacher who spent 27 years in Strongsville City Schools. Cleveland.com reports former students remembered Melinda Pleskovic as an educator with an unwavering passion for teaching.
Melinda Pleskovic had posted about being harassed in her own home to her Facebook page recently. Neighbors said the break-ins and harassment dates back a year, when the couple filed a police report on four teens jumping on their trampoline.
The culprits were never identified. Since then, a series of police reports reflects a series of pranks and crimes at the Pleskovic home, such as a group of teens peeking in the windows and missing belongings, including a laptop and a set of car keys. As a result, someone had been using the keys to set off the car alarm.
In one post, Melinda Pleskovic said someone put nails near her car’s tires. On the Thursday before Melinda’s death, someone reportedly tried to break into the home but the family pit bull chased the culprit away, police reports state. The alleged murderer, Scullin, and Pleskovic’s daughter were due to be married last weekend, the same day Melinda was laid to rest.