One of the runaway Lakeville girls discovered at a western Minnesota horse ranch last week told police that she hadn’t seen her mother “in years’’ and assumed she’d been incarcerated, according to a child protection petition filed by Dakota County.
The two girls have told investigators that they were home-schooled and assisted with chores around the ranch, where they’d lived since being dropped off there in April 2013, the petition revealed.
Their mother, Sandra Grazzini-Rucki, 50, faces six counts of felony deprivation of parental rights on allegations she took her daughters Gianna and Samantha to the Herman, Minn. ranch. The girls were dropped off four days after they ran away in the midst of a custody dispute, according to the criminal charges.
Yet as the girls lived and worked undetected at the ranch, Grazzini-Rucki attended a NASCAR race in November 2014 and the NHL Finals in June 2015. A Florida man on Sunday posted photos of Grazzini-Rucki at those events on Facebook. Jack Auld, is described in Lakeville police records as Grazzini-Rucki’s boyfriend.
“I was tired of seeing all the mug shot photos of Sam and how the press and Dakota County has tried to make Sam out to be this horrible Mother and An Assaultive, Aggressive Felon!!” Auld wrote on his Facebook page. “So here’s Sam at Amalie Stadium where we saw The Tampa Bay Lightning in The Stanley Cup against The Chicago Blackhawks! This is The Sam All My Friends know and Love!!”
Auld did not respond to a request for comment.
The Dakota County petition filed Monday asks the court to ensure that Samantha, 17, and Gianna, 16, have “a safe and stable living environment where their needs can be addressed and met.”
The lack of any medical care over the last two years put the girls behind on routine immunizations, although they were “in overall good physical health,” according to the petition.
The petition said after the girls were found they were taken to a metro hospital for evaluation then placed into foster care, saying that was in the best interest of the children after a social worker spoke with their father, David Rucki, and law enforcement.
“David is in contact with the county and others to ensure the girls receive the best care for what they have endured,” a family spokesman said Tuesday.
Grazzini-Rucki’s attorney, Michelle MacDonald, criticized the placement of the children in foster care.
“Why are they not living with their mother right now?” MacDonald said.
Grazzini-Rucki, who was arrested in October, is being held in lieu of $1 million bail by Dakota County and housed at the Ramsey County workhouse.
During a court hearing on Tuesday, Judge Karen Asphaug said Grazzini-Rucki suffered a head injury from a fall earlier that day and was being hospitalized at Regions Hospitals for evaluation.
Gianna and Samantha ran away from their home on April 19, 2013, amid a bitter custody battle between their parents.
Before they disappeared, the teens repeatedly accused their father of abuse, but a court-appointed psychologist concluded that Grazzini-Rucki had brainwashed them.
In November 2013, Dakota County Judge David Knutson granted Rucki full custody of his children, saying there was no credible evidence that he abused the girls.