Posts tagged Gina Dahlen

Minnesota Supreme Court denies Dede Evavold and Sandra Grazzini-Rucki petitions

The Minnesota Supreme Court has denied the petitions filed by Deirdre “Dede” Evavold and Sandra Grazzini-Rucki to review their criminal convictions for their role in the disappearance of two of Grazzini-Rucki’s children.

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

Grazzini-Rucki’s petition was denied last week by the Minnesota Supreme Court, and Evavold’s petition was denied in an order released this morning.

Evavold’s legal troubles are not over, as her criminal trial for her continued violations of an Harassment Restraining Order granted by a court in Dakota County to protect David Rucki and his family from her harassment is scheduled for April 23, 2018. Continue reading

Michelle MacDonald helped Dede Evavold in masking the extent of her role in the disappearance of Rucki sisters

Michelle MacDonald, who serves as Sandra Grazzini-Rucki’s family court attorney, helped Dede Evavold during a media interview in masking the extent of her full role in the disappearance of Samantha and Gianna Rucki based on a video published by Evavold.

In the video published by Evavold last week, MacDonald instructs Evavold on how to correctly answer a question from the producer with ABC’s “20/20” after Evavold mistakenly admitted a key element of her criminal involvement in the disappearance of the Rucki sisters in an interview.

This video was recorded before Evavold was charged with four additional felonies, and before she was convicted of a total of six felonies for her involvement in the disappearance of Samantha and Gianna Rucki.

Evavold served as MacDonald’s campaign chair and manager during MacDonald’s unsuccessful bid for the Minnesota Supreme Court in 2014.

MacDonald’s client, Sandra Grazzini-Rucki, was also convicted of six felonies for her role in the disappearance of her daughters.

The video provides further evidence of MacDonald’s direct involvement in the propaganda machinery of Grazzini-Rucki and Evavold. Continue reading

Missing in Minnesota 2017: The year in review

Missing in Minnesota continues to document and report on the true story of two sisters who vanished, the father who kept searching, and the adults who conspired to keep the truth hidden.

In 2017, Missing in Minnesota published over 70 stories, over 500 tweets, and built a Facebook Page with over 10,000 followers which provided detailed breaking news, analysis, and commentary on the continuing legal developments involving the disappearance of Samantha and Gianna Rucki.

The most significant change to Missing in Minnesota in 2017 was the additional of Allison Mann, who aside from contributing to the published content, Mann has provided strategic direction as Missing in Minnesota transitions from an online format to additional mediums which will be announced in 2018, so stay tuned! Continue reading

Sandra Grazzini-Rucki scheduled to report to jail on Saturday

Sandra Grazzini-Rucki is scheduled to report to jail on Saturday – November 18 – the two year anniversary of the day her daughters were found after disappearing for 944 days.

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

The sisters were abducted by their mother near their home in Lakeville, Minnesota.

In July 2016, Grazzini-Rucki was found guilty on six counts of deprivation of parental rights for her role in the disappearance of her daughters. Grazzini-Rucki was sentenced in September 2016.

David Rucki was awarded full custody of all five of his children in November 2013, while two of his daughters remained missing.

On November 18, 2015, the girls were found living on a ranch in northern Minnesota by law enforcement, in a search lead by the Lakeville Police Department.

The Rucki sisters were reunited with their father days after they were found. They continue to live with their father and other siblings at the family’s home in Lakeville.

Grazzini-Rucki appealed her criminal conviction, but the Minnesota Court of Appeals affirmed her conviction last week.

According to the ruling from the Minnesota Court of Appeals, Grazzini-Rucki will be permitted to execute the remainder of her sentence, a point both Grazzini-Rucki’s public defender and the Dakota County Attorney’s Office agreed she should be allowed to do. Continue reading

Pizza Ranch fundraiser for White Horse Ranch canceled

A fundraiser hosted by Pizza Ranch to benefit a ranch where two missing sisters were held for 942 days was abruptly canceled after widespread public outrage.

WhiteHorseRanchFundraiserAccording to the promotional materials for the fundraiser, Pizza Ranch in Alexandria, Minnesota would be “donating a portion of their sales during that time” to White Horse Ranch, which is owned by Doug and Gina Dahlen.

Doug and Gina Dahlen were sentenced in May to one year in jail for their role in the disappearance of Samantha and Gianna Rucki from Lakeville, Minnesota.

Earlier today, the staff at Pizza Ranch confirmed they would be donating a portion of their sales to the White Horse Ranch. After being informed about the controversy surrounding the ranch and the criminal history of both Doug and Gina Dahlen, staff insisted the fundraiser would still be held.

But hours after Missing in Minnesota posted details about the fundraiser on Facebook, the event was canceled.

As of 6:00 pm last evening, the Facebook post published by Missing in Minnesota has been viewed by over 13,000 people with over 250 comments.

Dan Gray, the owner of Pizza Ranch where the fundraiser to benefit the White Horse Ranch was scheduled to be held contacted Missing in Minnesota this morning to apologize for scheduling the event.

“I apologize,” said Gray, adding “if I ever do it again, I’ll do a little more research.” Gray noted that he hosts numerous fundraising events for the community each year.

Continue reading

Jasmine Block: Missing in Minnesota for 29 days

On the evening of August 9, 2017,  the Missing in Minnesota Facebook page received a private message containing a link to a post by the Alexandria Police Department. The message was simple: “Please post this on your site.”

15 year-old Jasmine Block had been missing for approximately 26 hours by this time and the police were already hard at work looking for her.

Two days later, on August 11, 2017, another message from a different person. This message contained an updated poster with Jasmine’s pictures. So many people were working so hard to spread the information about Jasmine.

No one knew then where Jasmine was or who she was with, no one knew what hell she was living.

This past Tuesday, while the majority of kids in Minnesota were sitting in classrooms on the first day of school, 15 year-old Jasmine was escaping. Continue reading

Dede Evavold’s dangerous and demented deception

Dede Evavold had never met Samantha and Gianna Rucki before she helped orchestrate the kids disappearance from their family and friends.

Evavold was friends with their mother, Sandra Grazzini-Rucki and on April 19, 2013, Grazzini-Rucki abducted her daughters near their home in Lakeville, Minnesota during a custody and divorce dispute with her ex-husband David Rucki.

The sisters were taken by their mother near their home in Lakeville, Minnesota, in violation of a court order.

In the hours after the Rucki sisters vanished, it was Evavold who connected Grazzini-Rucki with Doug and Gina Dahlen, who owned the ranch where the Rucki sisters were found on November 18, 2015 – 944 days after they disappeared. The girls were found living on the Dahlens’ ranch in Herman, Minnesota by law enforcement, headed by the Lakeville Police Department.

While Grazzini-Rucki’s involvement with the disappearance of her daughters generates the most headlines, it is Evavold who is considered by many to be the most dangerous and demented of the adults involved in the disappearance of the Rucki sisters. Continue reading

Doug and Gina Dahlen violated jail work release rules

During their brief time in jail for their role in the disappearance of two sisters from Lakeville, Minnesota, Doug and Gina Dahlen repeatedly violated jail work release rules, based on documents obtained by Missing in Minnesota.

The repeated rule violations raise questions about the supervision the Dahlens received by jail staff, and if the clear violation of jail work release rules warrant further investigation by law enforcement and corrections officials in Minnesota.

Easy time in Traverse County

Doug and Gina Dahlen were released from the Traverse County Jail on Friday, June 2, after serving just 20 days in jail for their role in the disappearance of Samantha and Gianna Rucki. The Dahlens were released after their attorneys successfully petitioned the court to allow the Dahlens to receive credit for good behavior in jail.

Judge Karen Asphaug permitted the Dahlens to participate in a work release program throughout the term of their sentence. Work release gives inmates leave from jail to maintain employment while serving their sentence. But strict rules exist for work release programs and vary by county and program.

The Traverse County Jail, located in Wheaton, Minnesota has specific guidelines which must be followed by inmates participating in the work release program.

Days prior to their release, attorneys for Doug and Gina Dahlen filed a motion to clarify their sentence requesting early release based on “good conduct.”

As part of this motion the attorneys obtained information from the Traverse County Jail regarding the Dahlens’ conduct while in custody. According to correspondence filed with the motion pleadings, the Dahlens were labeled “model inmates” by Brenda Bartz, the Traverse County Jail Administrator. This alleged statement by Bartz was the basis for the motion requesting early release by the Dahlens. Continue reading

Doug and Gina Dahlen released from jail after serving only 20 days

Doug and Gina Dahlen were released from the Traverse County Jail this afternoon, after serving just 20 days in jail for their role in the disappearance of Samantha and Gianna Rucki.

Samantha and Gianna’s father, David Rucki, released a statement yesterday in response to an order granting Doug and Gina Dahlen an early release from jail.

In his statement, David Rucki expressed his strong frustration that Doug and Gina Dahlen would serve only 20 days in jail:

I am appalled at the decision to allow the Dahlens to be released from jail after serving only 20 days. During the 942 days my missing children were held by the Dahlens, they were denied access to any medical treatment and education.

The Dahlens robbed my children of their youth, their family, their friends, and their life. My children and family were victimized by the Dahlens and we are still working together as a family to fully recover from the pain and trauma they inflicted. 

Today’s decision to allow the Dahlens to stroll out of jail after serving only 20 days trivializes the severity of their crimes and the pain inflicted on my children and family.”

Doug and Gina Dahlen, pleaded guilty for their role in the disappearance of Samantha and Gianna Rucki, and were later sentenced  to one year in jail. The Dahlens’ full jail sentence was stayed, pending the successful completion of two-years probation and a jail sentence of 31 days. Continue reading

Dahlens will be out of jail tomorrow; David Rucki ‘appalled’ by court’s decision

David Rucki released a statement today in response to an order granting Doug and Gina Dahlen an early release from jail after serving only 20 days for their involvement in the disappearance of his children for 944 days.

In his statement, David Rucki expressed his strong frustration that Doug and Gina Dahlen served only 20 days in jail:

I am appalled at the decision to allow the Dahlens to be released from jail after serving only 20 days. During the 942 days my missing children were held by the Dahlens, they were denied access to any medical treatment and education.

The Dahlens robbed my children of their youth, their family, their friends, and their life. My children and family were victimized by the Dahlens and we are still working together as a family to fully recover from the pain and trauma they inflicted. 

Today’s decision to allow the Dahlens to stroll out of jail after serving only 20 days trivializes the severity of their crimes and the pain inflicted on my children and family.”

Doug and Gina Dahlen, pleaded guilty for their role in the disappearance of Samantha and Gianna Rucki, and were later sentenced  to one year in jail. The Dahlens’ full jail sentence was stayed, pending the successful completion of two-years probation and a jail sentence of 31 days. Continue reading

Dahlens want out of jail after serving only 20 days

UPDATE: The Dahlens have been granted an early release from jail. We’ll have more information soon on Missing in Minnesota.

Doug and Gina Dahlen, who pleaded guilty for their role in the disappearance of Samantha and Gianna Rucki, filed a request with Dakota County to be released from jail tomorrow, after serving only 20 days in jail.

On May 2, 2017, Doug and Gina Dahlen were each sentenced to one year in jail by Judge Karen Asphaug. The Dahlens’ full jail sentence was stayed, pending the successful completion of two-years probation, and after they served 31 days in jail – one day for each month the Rucki sisters were held at their ranch in Herman, Minnesota.

But in a motion filed yesterday with Dakota County, the Dahlens’ attorneys requested that Doug and Gina Dahlen be released from jail on Friday, June 2, 2017, after serving only 20 days of their 31 day sentence in jail.

The Dahlens are serving their jail sentence in Traverse County and according to public records, the Dahlens are currently scheduled to be released from jail on June 13, 2017. 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

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

LakevillePoliceDepartmentSign
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