The missing Rucki sisters, whose disappearance was reported back in April 2013, were recently found safe at a horse farm in Herman, western Minnesota.
Sixteen-year old Gianna Rucki and seventeen-year old Samantha Rucki have been discovered by law enforcement at the White Horse ranch on Wednesday, November 18. It had been a joint effort by the Minnesota police department, and by the U.S. Marshals Service.
The two teenagers appeared to be healthy and well, and authorities are now speculating that in fact the girls had been reluctant to be found.
On the other hand, David Rucki, who is the girls’ father, has been overwhelmed with joy that his daughters are actually alive and safe, given that it had been such a long while since he last saw them, and he had been fearing the worst by now.
Following their emotional reunion, the long-suffering dad has asked for privacy, so that his recently reunited family can gradually heal, and overcome the traumatic experience of being separated for this extended period of time.
The Rucki sisters had been missing for more than 2 years, and had been sought ever since by the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children. Their disappearance had coincided with a bitter custody war between their parents, who had dissolved their marriage in May 2011.
At the time, the girl’s mother, Sandra Grazzini-Rucki, accused her husband of having abused her and her children, while David Rucki insisted that he was innocent.
A court-appointed mental health expert evaluated the daughters, and determined that indeed they had been brainwashed by their mom into believing horrid things about their father, in a classic example of parental alienation.
Initially, sole custody of the couple’s five children, including the two daughters, was granted to Sandra Grazzini-Rucki, but after an appeal this verdict was reversed, and back in September 2012 the girls’ aunt, David Rucki’s sister, was the one who obtained temporary custody.
When this new decision was challenged by Sandra Grazzini-Rucki in April 2013, the court maintained its ruling, but shortly afterwards the girls went missing.
While they were in hiding, a local TV station managed to interview them, and that’s when they claimed that they had chosen to leave because they knew they could no longer stay with their mother and hadn’t wished to reside with their emotionally and verbally abusive father.
On the other hand, Lakeville police officers maintained that the girls hadn’t left of their own accord, and had probably been influenced by their mother, supported by anti-family court activists.
It’s unclear exactly how law enforcement managed to receive information regarding the sisters’ whereabouts. Their dad had been contacting police on a weekly basis to see if they might have a new lead in the case, while their mom had been constantly uncooperative.
Apparently, back in August details emerged suggesting that the girls’ mother orchestrated their disappearance, and was keeping them in hiding.
Witnesses stepped forward to recount how they had last seen the two teenagers leaving their aunt’s residence and stepping into their mom’s vehicle, who had picked them up and taken them away.
Eventually, Sandra Grazzini-Rucki was apprehended by police officers in Orlando, Florida on October 18, and charged with 3 counts of felony deprivation of parental rights.
However, when police interrogated her, she claimed that she had no idea where the girls might be, and that she didn’t have any connection with the way they vanished. As a result, she is still being kept in custody, under a $ 1 million bail.
Now, officials believe that Grazzini-Rucki was indeed involved in the disappearance of her daughters, and that she was probably aided by an entire network of relatives and friends, so as to keep the girls hidden from their father.
An investigation will be carried out by the Lakeville Police Department, in order to process all the evidence, and determine what really occurred on the day when the sisters went missing, and how they remained unseen by any locals for so long.
Image Source: Officer.com