Carlie Brucia's mom in jail

Susan Schorpen was arrested on drug and prostitution charges in St. Petersburg.

Published January 20, 2006

ST. PETERSBURG - Susan Schorpen, the mother of Carlie Brucia, was arrested in St. Petersburg Thursday on drug and prostitution charges.

St. Petersburg police arrested Schorpen about 10 p.m. during an anti-prostitution operation in the north downtown area. Officers saw her walking up to cars, attracting the attention of drivers and getting into one vehicle, police reports state.

Officers later stopped Schorpen, 36, in a car and arrested her. She was booked into the Pinellas County jail on charges of possession of crack cocaine and committing acts facilitating prostitution.

Schorpen, who has fought drug addiction for years, was being held there Friday in lieu of $5,250 bail.

Schorpen told police she was homeless. An arrest report indicates she has a Carlie tattoo with a butterfly on her right shoulder.

Authorities reported earlier this month that she had disappeared after stealing thousands in money and jewelry from her father.

On Jan. 4, Schorpen cashed an $800 check that her father wrote to pay for her drug treatment in a residential program. She also stole cash, credit cards and a ring worth $5,000, Charlotte County Sheriff's officials reported.

Schorpen's daughter, Carlie Brucia, 11, was abducted, sexually assaulted and strangled by Joseph Smith in February 2004. The case gained nationwide attention because the abduction was recorded by a car wash surveillance camera.

A jury convicted Smith of first-degree murder and recommended the death sentence. His sentencing is scheduled for Feb. 13.