Prosecutors consider federal charges against Ruska

MARQUETTE — Police on Friday were considering the possibility of federal charges against Eric Scott Ruska, who was arrested in Munising early Friday for allegedly keeping an Upper Peninsula woman against her will for several days.

Detective 1st Lt. Robert Pernaski, of the Michigan State Police, said Friday afternoon that a conference call among prosecutors from several U.P. counties and federal attorneys was expected to take place that day to determine whether federal charges could be brought against Ruska.

“He’s going to be charged, it’s just a matter of by whom,” Pernaski said.

Charges against Ruska could not be confirmed by press time Friday. Pernaski said he expected a decision would be made by early next week.

Pernaski said Ruska is being held at the Marquette County Jail because of the region’s federal courthouse being located in Marquette and the possibility of federal charges, due to some of Ruska’s alleged criminal behavior occurring on federal property, the Hiawatha National Forest.

Following a missing persons complaint filed early Monday, police began searching for Ruska and LeeAnn Marie Wilmoth, 28, of Cooks.

Police said officers in plain clothes arrested Ruska at a 24-hour Shell gas station in Munising around 4:25 a.m. Friday, and found Wilmoth held against her will in Ruska’s truck.

Wilmoth was transported to UP Health System-Marquette that day for evaluation. Her condition was unknown.

The two, who were coworkers at Hiawatha Log Homes near Munising, allegedly went fishing Sunday at Chicago Lake in Delta County. Wilmoth’s vehicle was found at the lake, along with Ruska’s boat, but a widespread search for his truck was conducted involving multiple law enforcement agencies throughout the central U.P.

Ruska was apprehended without incident.

Public records indicate he was sentenced to prison in 2004 for third-degree criminal sexual conduct and kidnapping. He was released December 2015.

Ryan Jarvi can be reached at 906-228-2500, ext. 270. His email address is rjarvi@miningjournal.net.

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