Empire man booked last week on suspicion of murder released; no charges filed

An Empire man who was arrested last week on suspicion of murder was released from custody Monday.

The Stanislaus County District Attorney’s Office did not file charges against Michael Bruce, who Sheriff’s Department Detectives arrested Friday in the death of 58-year-old Roy Dale Ensey, of Empire.

“We are not filing charges at this time,” District Attorney Birgit Fladager said in an email Monday. “The investigation is ongoing.”

Bruce was also originally booked on conspiracy charges, suggesting there was an accomplice, but the Sheriff’s Department would not say if investigators had identified any other suspects.

Ensey’s body was found by construction workers under the Santa Fe Avenue bridge on Oct. 22. Detectives will not say how he died.

Erin has been covering breaking news and crime at The Modesto Bee since 2010. She is a Humboldt State graduate and resides in Oakdale.