Friends of woman found dead behind school: 'She didn't deserve this'

A woman found dead behind a closed Detroit school lived a hard life but didn't deserve this, her friends say.

We're learning more tonight about the woman found dead behind an abandoned elementary school in Detroit. Those who knew Jessica Bruner say she lived a tough life but call her a loving and kind woman who never deserved this.

"She has never done any wrong to anybody," said Larry Sharp, a friend of hers. "She was a good person, she didn't deserve it."

A terrible discovery led to a tragic realization. "I remember saying 'God I hope that's not Jessica,'" said Anne Underwood, a friend. "Because they said she was in her 30s."
Jessica Bruner's body was found discarded near a pile of trash outside a vacant Detroit school, discovered by two men walking to the store.
"When I dialed 911 they were like, can you give her CPR," Dorie said. "I'm like, this lady is already gone. There was nothing I could do for her."

Underwood described Bruner as a woman with a troubled life battling an addiction to heroin, which gave way to prostitution.

"Something in her soul is broken, I don't know," she said.

But Underwood says this isn't the Jessica she knew.

"We just connected right away she was like my friend-soul mate," Underwood said.

Despite her struggles, Underwood says her lifelong friend always put family first.

"Especially her little brother Steven," Underwood said. "She was always taking care of him. I was 15 when I had my daughter so she helped me raise her."

Underwood says she tried to get her treatment for addiction. "There is plenty of options to get help," she said. "But you can't do it unless you want to."

Now Underwood wants to erase the memory of how her friend was found, but needs help.

"Her brother is in Florida, her mother is in Georgia," Underwood said. "We started a GoFundMe to get them here and pay for her funeral."

Police say the only thing suspicious about her death is when she was found behind the old Gompers elementary school.

Investigators are awaiting autopsy and toxicology results and have not determined if foul play was involved.

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