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Carlie Brucia remembered 10 years later

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Posted: Friday, January 31, 2014 10:28 pm | Updated: 10:14 am, Wed Feb 5, 2014.

SARASOTA-- Saturday marks the ten year anniversary of one of the most notorious murders in Sarasota County History.

On February 1, 2004, 11-year-old Carlie Brucia was abducted by Joseph Smith on her way home from a friend's house. The abduction was caught on a surveillance camera from the Evie's Car Wash on Bee Ridge Road. Smith would later rape and kill Brucia, leaving her body in a field behind a church.

Smith was convicted of Brucia's murder and remains on death row. The area in which her body was found is now a garden at the Central Church of Christ on Proctor Road in Sarasota.

"Because she has been an inspiration to me of what happened here, I now recognize there are a lot of vulnerable children in our community," said Rod Myers, the Minister at the Church. "It's hard to believe it has been ten years."

Joy Most is now 21-years-old and was one of Brucia's best friends growing up.

"Me and my mom burst out crying when we found out," said Most. "I miss her and I'm always thinking about her."

Also thinking about her all the time is Brucia's stepfather, Steven Kansler.

"I'll always have my memories of her. No one will take that away. You live one day at a time," he said.

What angers Kansler is that Smith remains on death row.

"When he is executed and I get to go up there and watch them, that will be my closure. I'll feel she has been set free. Right now I feel like she is floating around up there and stuck in limbo," said Kansler.

A candlelight vigil will be held in Carlie's honor Saturday night at 6:30. It will take place at the Central Church of Christ on Proctor Road.

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