Bail was set on Friday in Dakota County at $1 million for a woman suspected of hiding her two teenage daughters when they ran away from their Lakeville home in 2013.
Sandra Grazzini-Rucki, 50, faces three counts of felony deprivation of parental rights for her alleged involvement in the disappearance of her daughters Gianna and Samantha. She was extradited from Florida and arrived in Minnesota on Thursday night.
In an interview in April, Grazzini-Rucki denied having anything to do with her daughters’ disappearance. Her attorney, Michelle MacDonald, has said her client does not know where the girls are now.
U.S. marshals arrested Grazzini-Rucki on Oct. 18 at an Orlando-area resort and spa. In her request for bail, Assistant Dakota County Attorney Kathryn Keena wrote that Grazzini-Rucki “poses a significant flight risk.” The marshals conducted a nationwide search over eight weeks, and Grazzini-Rucki has been “uncooperative in assisting law enforcement in obtaining [the girls’] return,” Keena wrote.
MacDonald said it was “ludicrous” to think Grazzini-Rucki would flee and called the bail amount “outrageous.” “They are pretending that she’s a flight risk,” she said.
Gianna and Samantha were 13 and 14 when they ran from their home on April 19, 2013, in the midst of a bitter custody battle between their parents, accusing their father of abusing them. A psychologist concluded that Grazzini-Rucki had brainwashed the children. In November 2013, a Dakota County judge granted David Rucki full custody of his children, saying there was no credible evidence that they were abused. Rucki has denied ever abusing his children.
Grazzini-Rucki has a plea hearing Monday.
Lakeville police have said they suspect that the girls are hiding with an underground network that says family courts are corrupt and place children with abusive custodial parents. Groups supporting this network have encouraged the girls on social media to “stay in hiding.”