Gianna Rucki (left) and Samantha Rucki (right). Photos distributed by Lakeville police and the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.
HERMAN, Minn. (KMSP) - Two Lakeville, Minnesota girls who have been missing since 2013 have been found. Gianna and Samantha Rucki, ages 17 and 16, disappeared in April 2013 during a bitter custody battle between their parents.
Police found the girls Wednesday on the White Horse Ranch in Herman, Minn., about 40 miles west of Alexandria, Minn. Authorities suspect an underground support group has been helping to hide the girls all this time. Shortly after the sisters were found, the ranch’s website abruptly shut down.
Back in 2013, the family was the subject of Fox 9 investigation about "parent alienation". The girls said their father physically and emotionally abused them, but David Rucki accused their mother of turning the girls against him.
At the time, the girls told Fox 9 they ran away because they didn't want to be reunited with their father. They have been gone ever since -- even their mother, Sandra Grazzini Rucki, denied knowing their whereabouts.
Police didn't believe the mother’s story and arrested her in Florida last month. She's currently being held in the Dakota County jail on 3 counts of felony deprivation of parental rights.
Statement from Lakeville police
“During the afternoon hours of November 18, 2015, the Lakeville Police Department, along with U.S. Marshals and the Grant County Sheriff’s Department, executed a Search Warrant relating directly to the missing Rucki sisters, Samantha and Gianna. Both Samantha and Gianna were found safe and in seemingly good health at the residence where the Search Warrant was executed. The sisters will return to Dakota County where the unification process can begin.”