STRONGSVILLE, OHIO - Jeffrey Scullin, Jr., who was engaged to be married to Strongsville teacher Melinda Pleskovic's daughter, has been arrested for his future mother-in-law's murder.
Strongsville Police Chief Mark Fender held a press conference Tuesday afternoon to provide updates on the investigation into the case. He did not take any questions.
Scullin, 20, is charged with aggravated murder. He's being held on $1 million bond.
Pleskovic, a sixth grade teacher, was found dead at her Blazing Star Drive home just over a week ago. The Cuyahoga Medical Examiner ruled she died from gunshot and stab wounds.
Bruce Pleskovic, Melinda’s husband, called 911 last Monday evening, claiming he and Scullin found Melinda on the floor inside the home.
“I think my wife is dead,” Bruce Pleskovic told dispatch. He went on to say the couple had been experiencing break-ins at their home recently. At one point, he angrily told the dispatcher that the city “dropped the ball.”
Scullin, who lived at the home with the Pleskovics, also called 911, claiming he and Bruce found Melinda dead in the kitchen.
Here is a portion of the 911 call transcribed, which you can listen to in the video below the transcription:
Scullin: “Somebody’s been attacked in my house.”
Dispatcher: They attacked who? Who was attacked?
Scullin: “Mel Pleskovic. Mel Pleskovic was attacked.”
Dispatcher: She was attacked by whom? Do you know?
Scullin: “No. We just came home. She’s on the kitchen floor. I took her son and my daughter outside. Her husband is inside with her now.”
Dispatcher: So the husband attacked her?
Scullin: “No. No. No. We just came home. We just came home.”
Dispatcher You came home and found her injured on the floor?
Scullin: “We found her in the kitchen. She’s not moving. I took the kids and I walked outside.”
Dispatcher: Did she look like she was beaten, or what?
Scullin: “She has blood all around her. I didn’t look. I just grabbed the child and left.”
The call continued…
Scullin: “There’s a lot of blood.”
Dispatcher: How do you know this woman?
Scullin: “I live here. I live here. She’s my fiancee's mother.”
Dispatcher: Has she like had anybody trying to harm her? Harass her? Anything like that?
Scullin: “No. No.”
Dispatcher: Do you have a dog that lives at that house?
Scullin: “We have two. We have two dogs.”
Dispatcher: Are the dogs there, or you don’t know?
Scullin: “I don’t know. We just walked in the front door and we left.”
Dispatcher: We got a phone call from somebody who found a dog that belongs at your residence. That’s why I’m thinking the dogs got out, OK? Do you see any like forced entry or anything to the house?
Scullin: “I’m outside. The door was locked.”
Melinda Pleskovic had posted about being harassed in her own home to her Facebook page recently. Neighbors told WKYC the break-ins and harassment started about a year ago when the couple filed a police report on four teens jumping on their trampoline. Those teens 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.
Scullin and Pleskovic’s daughter were due to be married last weekend, the same day Melinda was laid to rest.
Nathan Shoaff was in the same woodworking class with Scullin at Strongsville High School. Shoaff says Scullin was a year younger than him and graduated in 2015. He called Scullin a normal kid.
“He seemed like a nice guy,” Shoaff said.
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