STRONGSVILLE, Ohio– Jeffrey W. Scullin, Jr. was a pallbearer at the funeral of his fiancé’s mother, Melinda Pleskovic, just three days before police arrested him for her murder.
Scullin, 20, faces an aggravated murder charge and is being held in the Cuyahoga County Jail on a $1-million bond.
Scullin and the victim’s husband, Bruce Pleskovic, called 911 to report finding the teacher unresponsive in her home on October 23. The Cuyahoga County Medical Examiner’s Office said she suffered gunshot and stab wounds.
“Mel Pleskovic was attacked,” Scullin told a dispatcher, who asked if he knew who the attacker was. “No. We just came home. She’s on the kitchen floor.”
Scullin was set to marry the victim’s daughter on October 28; the two have a 1-year-old daughter.
They all lived together in the home, where police responded several times for reports of suspicious activity over the last year.
According to police reports, Scullin was the only person to witness two attempted break-ins, in August and four days before the murder.
“Someone just tried to walk into my house… I didn’t really see them; I just saw a blue hoodie,” he told a dispatcher while reporting the second attempted break-in.
At a press briefing announcing the arrest Tuesday, Strongsville Police Chief Mark Fender did not answer questions from reporters, including about the veracity of the reports of attempted break-ins and other harassment. He said the police investigation continued and sought additional tips from the public.
The Strongsville Schools confirmed Scullin was a student who withdrew from the district in August of 2016. Court records in Cuyahoga County do not indicate a criminal record for Scullin.
Neighbors said Scullin previously lived in Strongsville with his father, a retired Cleveland police officer.
No one responded when a FOX 8 News reporter visited the home Wednesday.
Members of the Pleskovic family did not return phone calls seeking comment.
The Strongsville PIZZAFIRE Restaurant posted on Facebook that it is hosting a fundraiser to benefit the Melinda J. Showman-Pleskovic Memorial Fund from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. Thursday.