Date Archives May 2017

Missing in Minnesota announces addition of Allison Mann

Missing in Minnesota announced today the addition of Allison Mann as a contributing author. Mann will also provide strategic direction as Missing in Minnesota transitions from an online format to additional mediums yet to be announced.

“Allison has a sharp legal mind, and passionate commitment to help tell this important story,” said Michael Brodkorb, who’s reporting on this story began with the Star Tribune in 2015.

Brodkorb later founded Missing in Minnesota in July 2016, which provides detailed news, analysis, and commentary on the continuing developments involving this case.

Mann is a paralegal with Elliott Law Office and lives in Lakeville, Minnesota with her husband and family.

Elliott Law Offices provides legal services to David Rucki and his family, but Elliott Law Office is not affiliated with Missing in Minnesota.

“Two kids disappeared in Minnesota for 944 days,” said Mann, who added, “as a mother and a paralegal, I can’t help but see the importance of sharing the story of how and why it happened.”

Missing in Minnesota is the true story of about the disappearance of Samantha and Gianna Rucki, who vanished from Lakeville, Minnesota on April 19, 2013, during a custody and divorce proceeding involving their parents.

The sisters were taken by their mother in violation of a court order. The girls’ father, David Rucki, kept searching for his missing daughters for 944 days, until they were found by law enforcement on November 18, 2015.

David Rucki, was awarded full custody of all five of his children in November 2013, while two of his daughters remained missing. Rucki was reunited with his daughters days after they were found and they live with him at the family’s home in Lakeville.

Law enforcement investigating threatening social media posts connected to Grazzini-Rucki and supporters

Law enforcement in Dakota County is currently investigating numerous threatening, harassing, and defamatory statements which have been published on social media accounts connected to Sandra Grazzini-Rucki and her supporters.

A collection of social media accounts on Twitter and Facebook have targeted judges, law enforcement, court staff, and journalists, including members of their families.

David Rucki and members of his family continue to be targeted by multiple social media accounts, which has lasted for years.

Missing in Minnesota is not publishing the name of the suspected social media accounts, nor will the content contained in the posts be published at this time. Continue reading

Missing and found in Minnesota: Doug and Gina Dahlen

Doug and Gina Dahlen, who pleaded guilty for their role in the disappearance of Samantha and Gianna Rucki, did not report to jail in Dakota County or Grant County to serve their jail sentence yesterday morning, triggering widespread confusion as to their whereabouts.

Based on information uncovered by Missing in Minnesota, it was later determined that the Dahlens had reported to jail in Traverse County. The jail in Traverse County is located in Wheaton, Minnesota and after traveling to the jail late yesterday, Missing in Minnesota was able to confirm that Doug and Gina Dahlen were in custody.

But questions remain unanswered today as to how and why the Dahlens were permitted to report to jail in Traverse County, when they live in Grant County, and were criminally charged and prosecuted in Dakota County. Continue reading

Lawyers Board: Michelle MacDonald’s ‘serious misconduct’ warrants suspension of her law license

Michelle MacDonald’s behavior during a family court hearing for Sandra Grazzini-Rucki was described as “the ultimate dereliction of an attorney’s duty, and is unquestionably serious misconduct warranting suspension” in a brief filed by the Minnesota Lawyers Professional Responsibility Board involving the attorney complaint against MacDonald.

A judicial referee appointed by the Minnesota Supreme Court recommended in January that MacDonald’s law license be suspended for a minimum of 60 days, followed by two years of probation, which would include a mental health evaluation.

The recommendation by Judge Heather Sweetland comes after a two-day hearing was held last November about an attorney complaint filed against MacDonald, who was a candidate for the Minnesota Supreme Court in 2014 and 2016.

MacDonald is appealing the recommendation that her law license be suspended and the brief filed by Susan M. Humiston, Director of the Lawyers Professional Responsibility Board. Continue reading

Fake news used by Grazzini-Rucki and her allies to distort the truth

Sandra Grazzini-Rucki and her allies continue to use fake news and propaganda to distort the truth involving her criminal conviction. The latest example comes from Michael Volpe, who writes for Communities Digital News, and who also co-authored a book with Grazzini-Rucki’s family court attorney Michelle MacDonald about this case.

In a post published last Friday, Mr. Volpe repeated a false statement that David Rucki was present in the room with Samantha Rucki while she testified during her mother’s criminal trial last July.

The inaccurate claim that David Rucki and his sister, Dr. Tammy Love were in the room with Samantha when she testified has been continually used as a talking-point by supporters of Grazzini-Rucki since she was convicted for her role in the disappearance of her children.

Mr. Volpe is based in Chicago, Illinois and he disseminates Grazzini-Rucki’s propaganda masqueraded as news. He has never attended any of the court proceedings involving Sandra Grazzini-Rucki and the other adults charged and convicted for their role in the disappearance of Samantha and Gianna Rucki. Mr. Volpe is frequently interviewed with Grazzini-Rucki on podcasts about her criminal case and family court drama.

Continue reading

532 days after the Rucki sisters were found, the initial criminal trials are over

532 days after Samantha and Gianna Rucki were found on a ranch in rural Minnesota by the Lakeville Police Department on November 18, 2015, the initial stage of the criminal trials are over.

The Rucki sisters were taken by their mother Sandra Grazzini-Rucki in violation of a court order near their home in Lakeville, Minnesota on April 19, 2013.

David Rucki, was awarded full custody of all five of his children in November 2013, while two of his daughters remained missing. He was was reunited with his daughters days after they were found and they live with him at the family’s home in Lakeville.

Two defendants are appealing their criminal convictions, and below is a recap of the initial criminal trials.

Lakeville Police Department

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Picture source: Missing in Minnesota

The investigation into disappearance of Samantha and Gianna Rucki was lead by the Lakeville Police Department. The Lakeville Police department coordinated the search for the missing sisters with other law enforcement agencies, including the United States Marshals Service.

In May 2016, Det. Jim Dronen received the Medal of Commendation from Lakeville Police Chief Jeff Long for his work in locating the missing Rucki sisters.

Dakota County Attorney’s Office

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Picture source: Missing in Minnesota

The Dakota County Attorney’s Office charged four people related to the disappearance of Samantha and Gianna Rucki: Sandra Grazzini-Rucki, Dede (Deirdre) Evavold, Douglas Dahlen and his wife, Gina Dahlen.

The decision by Doug and Gina Dahlen to plead guilty ensured that Assistant Dakota County Attorney Kathy Kenna successfully prosecuted all of the people criminally charged related to the disappearance of the Rucki sisters. Continue reading

Doug and Gina Dahlen sentenced to jail, probation for role in disappearance of Rucki sisters

Doug and Gina Dahlen were each sentenced to one year in jail today at the Dakota County Judicial Center in Hastings for their role in the disappearance of Samantha and Gianna Rucki from Lakeville, Minnesota. The Dahlens’ full jail sentence was stayed, pending the successful completion of two-years probation.

They both will serve 31 days in jail – one day for each month the Rucki sisters were held at their ranch in Herman, Minnesota.

On April 19, 2013, the Rucki sisters disappeared during a custody and divorce dispute involving their parents – Sandra Grazzini-Rucki and David Rucki.

The sisters were taken near their home in Lakeville by their mother in violation of a court order and were later driven to the Dahlen’s ranch in northern Minnesota by their mother, Grazzini-Rucki and her friend, Dede Evavold on April 21, 2013.

Doug and Gina Dahlen, who pleaded guilty in January, admitted in court they knew David Rucki had been awarded custody of his children and that they failed to contact to David Rucki or law enforcement that the missing Rucki kids were living on their ranch. The Dahlens had each been charged with six felony counts for their role in the disappearance of the Rucki sisters.

By pleading guilty to one count, the remaining counts against the Dahlens were dismissed. Doug and Gina Dahlen are scheduled to report to jail on May 16, 2017, at 9AM.  Continue reading

Doug and Gina Dahlen sentenced tomorrow for role in disappearance of Rucki sisters

Doug and Gina Dahlen will be sentenced tomorrow at 9AM at the Dakota County Judicial Center in Hastings for their role in the disappearance of two sisters from Lakeville, Minnesota. On April 19, 2013, Samantha and Gianna Rucki disappeared during a custody and divorce dispute involving their parents – Sandra Grazzini-Rucki and David Rucki.

The sisters were taken near their home in Lakeville by their mother in violation of a court order and were later driven to the Dahlen’s ranch in northern Minnesota by their mother, Grazzini-Rucki and her friend, Dede Evavold on April 21, 2013.

Doug and Gina Dahlen, who pleaded guilty in January, admitted in court that they knew David Rucki had been awarded custody of his children and that they failed to contact to David Rucki or law enforcement that the missing Rucki kids were living on their ranch. The Dahlens had each been charged with six felony counts for their role in the disappearance of the Rucki sisters.

By pleading guilty to one count, the remaining counts against the Dahlens were dismissed. Continue reading