A routine traffic stop involving Sandra Grazzini-Rucki over two years ago has provided additional information about who was possibly involved the night two of her daughters disappeared on April 19, 2013.
As first reported by the Star Tribune, Grazzini-Rucki was charged last week with three felony counts of deprivation of parental rights involving the disappearance of two of her children, Samantha and Gianna Rucki.
Dale Nathan, who told the Star Tribune in April that he was in a car driven by Grazzini-Rucki when they picked up the two girls on the night they disappeared, said last evening that his drive with Grazzini-Rucki on April 19, 2013 was not the only time he had been in a car with Grazzini-Rucki.
Nathan said he was in a car driven by Grazzini-Rucki on Highway 5, near Waconia, when she was stopped by a law enforcement officer with the Carver County Sheriff's Office. Nathan said Grazzini-Rucki was pulled over for speeding, but did not receive a ticket.
In response to a request for information today about the traffic stop, the Carver County Sheriff's Office provided documentation that Grazzini-Rucki was stopped on April 7, 2013 on Highway 5, near Waconia, for speeding. Grazzini-Rucki was not ticketed, but received a "verbal warning."
According to the report about the traffic stop, Grazzini-Rucki was driving a vehicle owned by Michael Rhedin, a corrections officer with Hennepin County. The Lakeville police department has identified Rhedin as a "person of interest" in the disappearance of the two sisters.
In an interview today, Nathan said it is "highly likely" the vehicle he was in with Grazzini-Rucki during the traffic stop on April 7, 2013 was the same vehicle he was in with Grazzini-Rucki twelve days later on April 19, 2013 when she picked up her two daughters after they ran from their home in Lakeville.
The Lakeville police department declined to comment about the traffic stop involving Grazzini-Rucki and the statements from Nathan.
A source with knowledge of the investigation who requested not to be identified described the information about the vehicle and Nathan's comments "as a critical piece of the puzzle in determining what happened the evening the girls vanished."
Samantha and Gianna’s father, David Rucki, was awarded custody of all five of his children in November 2013.
Grazzini-Rucki has not surrendered to law enforcement and remains at large.
Picture source: Star Tribune