A Cadillac Escalade which retailed for over $50,000 and was owned by the mother of two missing sisters from Lakeville is now registered to a Hennepin County corrections officer connected to the case.

Sandra Grazzini-Rucki, who is the mother of Samantha and Gianna Rucki, transferred the title of the vehicle to Michael Rhedin, who is described as Grazzini-Rucki's "boyfriend" in court documents. Both Grazzini-Rucki and Rhedin are each considered a "person of interest" by Lakeville police in the disappearance of the missing girls. 

Samantha and Gianna Rucki disappeared on April 19, 2013, when the girls ran from their home in Lakeville during a custody dispute involving their parents. David Rucki, was awarded custody of all five of his children in November 2013.

Rhedin, who lives in Elko New Market, registered the Cadillac Escalade to a post office box in Burnsville. The current location of the vehicle is unknown and Rhedin refused to answer a question about whereabouts of the vehicle in a deposition last month.   

Minnesota law requires vehicle to be registered to owner's residence and post office boxes may only be used on vehicle registrations if the United States Postal Service will not deliver mail to the vehicle owner's residence. A spokesman for the Minnesota Department of Public Safety said privacy laws prevented them from commenting about Rhedin's registration of the vehicle, but added they do investigate vehicle registrations when notified about compliance issues. 

Grazzini-Rucki's attorney Michelle MacDonald vigorously denied any knowledge of her client ever owning a Cadillac Escalade during an interview Wednesday afternoon. Grazzini-Rucki and MacDonald have both claimed that Grazzini-Rucki is homeless and has limited financial resources. MacDonald said yesterday that Grazzini-Rucki had spent over $1 million on legal fees involving numerous lawsuits.

But a review of legal documents filed by MacDonald show Grazzini-Rucki discussed ownership of the Cadillac Escalade in a court hearing in early 2013. Grazzini-Rucki also claimed in 2012 that a "friend" purchased her a Cadillac Escalade through the website, Craigslist. 

MacDonald declined to answer if it was credible for Grazzini-Rucki to claim she was destitute when she spent over $1 million on legal fees and had owned a Cadillac Escalade. Earlier this month, MacDonald filed a lien against Grazzini-Rucki for over $190,000 in legal fees and costs incurred by MacDonald since she started representing Grazzini-Rucki in January 2013. 

MacDonald is also considered a "person of interest" by the Lakeville police department in the disappearance of Samantha and Gianna Rucki. MacDonald said yesterday she will not cooperate with the Lakeville police department's investigation of the missing sisters. 

In response to one phone call requesting a comment about the Cadillac Escalade's registration to a post office box, Rhedin's attorney Stephen Grigsby launched into an expletive-filled tirade, which ended with him threatening to "prosecute" me if I contacted him or Rhedin again.

During the last few months, Rhedin and Grigsby have been provided opportunities to comment on stories. Rhedin has either declined to comment in response to questions or chose not to respond to interview requests. Grigsby, who also serves as MacDonald's attorney, did comment for a story in April about the Lakeville police department wanting to speak with MacDonald about the missing sisters. 

Two weeks ago, Grigsby instructed Rhedin to not answer questions as they walked out of a courtroom at the Dakota County Judicial Center in Hastings. Rhedin was in court because he had previously asserted his right against self-incrimination provided to him by the Fifth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution by refusing to answer questions in a recent deposition at the law office of David Rucki's attorney, Lisa Elliot.  

As he left the hearing with his attorney, Rhedin would not answer any questions about an $80,000 payment he made in 2012 to a law firm which represented Grazzini-Rucki in her divorce proceedings. Rhedin also declined to comment on his son Zachary being charged with a felony for property damage at the home of David Rucki in Lakeville.

Picture source: Star Tribune