Strongsville family harassed for year before slaying, criticize police
The Pleskovic family endured harassment, pranks and break-ins for nearly a year.
Monday night, it culminated in the stabbing death of Strongsville school teacher Melinda Pleskovic, who was found violently stabbed to death inside her home at the end of the suburban cul-de-sac on Blazing Star Drive.
No suspect has been arrested, and neighbors in this close-knit suburban development say they’re now living on edge. Few would comment publicly.
Those who did speak to Channel 3 News say the Pleskovics' troubles started a year ago, sometime after Melinda Pleskovic shooed away several teens smoking marijuana behind her home, which abuts the Deerfield Lake development about 2 miles south of state Route 82.
The incident was documented in a June 28, 2016 police report which shows the family complained about four teens who were bouncing on their backyard trampoline. The teens carried lacrosse sticks and had shirts tied to their heads, police said. The boys were never identified.
In the months since, police reports show, a series of pranks and crimes ensued.
In November 2016, a group of teens were running around the development, looking inside the Pleskovics' windows while a woman changed clothes, a report showed.
This year, a laptop case turned up missing and suspicious people lurked around the street. Last month, the keys to a family vehicle were missing and someone was using them to repeatedly set off the security alarm.
Melinda Pleskovic, 49, complained to her friends on Facebook that someone intentionally put nails near their vehicle tires.
“With this crap and (a wedding approaching) we are going nuts!” she posted.
A friend responded to one post: “Somebody is watching you and they hate someone in your home.”
Another said: “OMG they are terrorizing you! That is just sick!”
And just last Thursday morning, the harassment was ramped up when someone tried to break inside the family’s home. The family pit bull chased away the culprit, a police report showed.
Monday night, however, Bruce Pleskovic came home to find his wife dead. In his 9-1-1 call, he lamented to a dispatcher about the harassment and what he believes is a poor police response.
“We've had people break into our house all year, stealing (things). We've asked people to watch our friggin area. We've had people attempt to break-in this week. You people dropped the friggin ball.”
Neighbor Gerald Kocan said he spoke to the Bruce Pleskovic in recent weeks about the plight.
“It bothered him, ya know. There was real concern about it,” Kocan said. “No one likes people breaking into your house.”
Police Chief Mark Fender did not respond to calls seeking comment. The department, did however, release several public records documenting the harassment.
Family members arrived at the home around noon Tuesday to retrieve a family dog and other belongings. They declined comment and asked for privacy.