Rucki daughters subpoenaed by Sandra Grazzini-Rucki to testify in court

The third day of Sandra Grazzini-Rucki’s criminal trial on eight counts of deprivation of parental rights continued this morning at the Dakota County Judicial Center in Hastings. Grazzini-Ricki has been charged related to the disappearance of her two daughters, Samantha and Gianna Rucki, who ran from their home in Lakeville on April 19, 2013.

Michael Rhedin and Sandra Grazzini-Rucki leave the courthouse during a break in the trial.
Michael Rhedin and Sandra Grazzini-Rucki leaving the courthouse on July 18, 2016.

Before the jury was seated for the morning’s testimony from witnesses, Stephen Grigsby, who is Sandra Grazzini-Rucki’s attorney, disclosed to the court that Grazzini-Rucki’s boyfriend, Michael Rhedin, had served a subpoena on David Rucki at a family court hearing to compel the testimony of Gianna Rucki, who is 16 years old.

Grazzini-Rucki’s attorney previously told the court that he issued a subpoena for Samantha Rucki to testify in her mother’s criminal trial. According to statements made in court, there is a disagreement as to whether the subpoena issued for Samantha Rucki was properly served.

Grigsby asked the court to enforce the subpoena he issued for both Samantha and Gianna Rucki. The court has the authority to issue a warrant for the arrest of both sisters if it is determined they were properly served with a subpoena to testify.

Michael Rhedin, who has been identified in court documents as Grazzini-Rucki’s boyfriend, served the subpoena issued by Grigsby. During the first day of the trial, Grigby said Rhedin would be a witness for Grazzini-Rucki, but will now not be called to testify.

In 2014, Rhedin pleaded guilty to bringing a firearm into an elementary school in Lakeville, Minnesota. Rhedin entered the school to serve a subpoena issued by Grazzini-Rucki’s family court attorney, Michelle MacDonald, for school records.

Dr. Tammy Love, who is David Rucki’s sister, was the first witness called to testify this morning. Love testified that she immediately suspected that Grazzini-Rucki was involved in the disappearance of her nieces, Samantha and Gianna Rucki.  Richard Hakanson, a police officer with the Lakeville Police Department, testified that he responded to a 911 call placed by Love the evening of April 19, 2013, to report the disappearance of Samantha and Gianna Rucki.

Gina Dahlen, who has been charged with two counts of deprivation of parental rights involving her role in the disappearance of Samantha and Gianna Rucki, also testified against Grazzini-Rucki. Douglas Dahlen, Gina’s husband, has also been charged with two counts of deprivation of parental rights.

944 days after they disappeared, the girls were found on November 18, 2015, living on the Dahlen’s ranch in northern Minnesota by law enforcement. The search for girls was headed by the Lakeville Police Department.

The girls’ father David Rucki was awarded full custody of all five of his children in November 2013. Days after they were found, the girls were reunited with their father, and they live with him and their siblings at the family’s home in Lakeville.

James Dronen, a detective with the Lakeville police department who led the investigation and search for Samantha and Gianna Rucki, is scheduled to testify when the court resumes later today.

Please check back later today for additional information on developments in the criminal trial of Sandra Grazzini-Rucki.

Learn the full details of this shocking true crime story by reading the award-winning book The Girls Are Gone which is available for sale through numerous retailers in both paperback and ebook.


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