Sandra Grazzini-Rucki’s criminal trial starts today

Sandra Grazzini-Rucki’s criminal trial on eight counts of deprivation of parental rights begins today at the Dakota County Judicial Center in Hastings.

Grazzini-Rucki has been charged related to the disappearance of her two daughters, Samantha and Gianna Rucki, who ran from their home in Lakeville during a custody and divorce proceeding involving their parents on April 19, 2013.

On November 18, 2015 – 944 days after they disappeared – the girls were found living on a ranch in northern Minnesota by law enforcement, in a search led by the Lakeville Police Department.

Three additional people have been criminally charged with felonies related to the disappearance of the girls: Dede (Deirdre) Evavold, Douglas Dahlen and his wife, Gina Dahlen.

According to the criminal complaint filed against Grazzini-Rucki, she picked up her daughters on the night they ran from their home in Lakeville and drove them to the home of Evavold and then eventually, the Dahlen’s ranch in Herman, Minnesota.

Grazzini-Rucki claimed her children were being abused by their father, David Rucki.

Samantha Rucki told the Lakeville police department in June that hat her father was not abusive to her, nor did she witness her father be abusive to any of her siblings.

From the criminal complaint:

During the interview, SVR reported the following facts. Rucki never physically assualted SVR and she never saw Rucki physically abuse any of her siblings. As to the events of April 19, 2013, it was her idea to run away and that she asked [Sandra Grazzini-Rucki] to come get her, SVR contacted her mom by phone using “burner”, phones” provided to SVR by [Michael Rhedin]. SVR and GJR were picked up by [Sandra Grazzini-Rucki]  and [Dale Nathan]. After dropping [Dale Nathan] off, [Sandra Grazzini-Rucki] drove SVR and GJR to [Deidre Evavold’s] residence in St. Cioud where the three stayed for a day or two. Thereafter, SVR and GJR were taken to the Dahlen resdence and left there by [Sandra Grazzini-Rucki]. [Sandra Grazzini-Rucki] stated that she would be back in a couple of days to pick up SVR and GJR. [Sandra Grazzini-Rucki] did not return to pick up the girls and she never called them during the time they stayed at the Dahlen residence.

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.

Grazzini-Rucki’s trial is expected to last until next Monday. Please follow Missing in Minnesots via Twitter for live updates from the trial. Please check back for additional information and analysis from the first day of the trial and for other developments.


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