During a custody battle between their parents, Samantha and Gianna Rucki disappeared on April 19, 2013 when they ran from their home in Lakeville. As detailed in Brandon Stahl's story for the Star Tribune, the girls are "two of 25 Minnesota children whose faces are publicized by the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children."
Dale Nathan, who told the Star Tribune last week that he was with Sandra Grazzini-Rucki in her car the day two of her daughters ran away, said yesterday he has "great concern" about the health and welfare of the girls, but he will not speak with "police or to a court" about the night the girls disappeared.
Lakeville Police consider Grazinni-Rucki a "person of interest" in the disappearance of Samantha and Gianna. The police have not spoken with Grazinni-Rucki, who works as a flight attendant, about her missing daughters. Over the last year, Grazinni-Rucki has worked hard to conceal where she lives and police do not know how to contact Grazzini-Rucki.
Nathan said in an interview at his home in Eagan this weekend that he has not seen, nor spoken with either of the missing girls since he was in a car driven by their mother over two years ago. Nathan believes Grazzini-Rucki knows where the missing girls are living.
While police have not been able to locate Grazzini-Rucki, Nathan said he has met with her on numerous occasions since the night her daughters disappeared. After Grazzini-Rucki began to hide her whereabouts in the fall of 2014, Nathan has been contacting Michael Rhedin, who is described as Grazzini-Rucki's "boyfriend" in court documents, if he needs to communicate with Grazzini-Rucki.
Nathan said he spoke with Grazzini-Rucki within the last two weeks and he contacted Rhedin to arrange the call. Rhedin, who public records show works for the Hennepin County Department of Community Corrections and Rehabilitation and previously worked as a police officer in Elko New Market, denied any involvement with Grazzini-Rucki and declined numerous interview requests.
The father of Samantha and Gianna, David Rucki, testified he saw one of his daughters at Rhedin's home in Elko New Market. According to court documents, Lakeville Police have visited Rhedin's home, but have "not had cause to execute a search warrant or enter the home at this time."
Michelle MacDonald, who serves as Grazinni-Rucki's attorney, said Grazzini-Rucki has stayed overnight at her home in Rosemount more than once within the last two years. MacDonald said Grazzini-Rucki calls her with regular frequency when she travels for her job and she also communicates with Grazzini-Rucki via e-mail.
After requesting to interview Grazzini-Rucki this week, MacDonald called less than two hours later with Grazzini-Rucki on the phone. Grazzni-Rucki called MacDonald from a blocked number and she did not disclose where she was located.
During the phone interview, Grazzini-Rucki denied Nathan's story about being in a car with her the night the girls disappeared. Nathan was not surprised Grazzini-Rucki challenged his story, saying she "did not want me to reveal what happened the evening of [April 19, 2013] because she is trying to protect her daughters."
David Rucki's attorney Lisa Elliott, said Nathan is "just as responsible for any harm that comes to the girls as anyone." Elliott said "the girls need to be found, they need to be safe," adding, "the only thing anybody is interested in doing, is reuniting them with their family, with their siblings, and getting them back into school with their friends and community."
Please read Brandon Stahl's story from last Sunday for additional information about Samantha and Gianna Rucki. Check back for updates later this week.
Picture source: Star Tribune