Finding normal goal for Lakeville dad after missing daughters found

Nine hundred and forty-four days of tortured, sleepless, relentless worry ended with a phone call for a Lakeville dad.

David Rucki is working on rebuilding his family since his teen daughters have returned home after being missing for over two years. His ex-wife Sandra Grazzini Rucki was found guilty of six felonies for hiding them from him and authorities for over two years at a rural horse ranch. She will be sentenced in September. (Photo by Laura Adelmann)

David Rucki is working on rebuilding his family since his teen daughters have returned home after being missing for over two years. His ex-wife Sandra Grazzini Rucki was found guilty of six felonies for hiding them from him and authorities for over two years at a rural horse ranch. She will be sentenced in September. (Photo by Laura Adelmann)

“You better sit down,” David Rucki recalled a Lakeville police officer saying moments before telling him his missing daughters were found.

Alive.

“I just kind of backed into a wall, and slid down,” Rucki said. “I just sat there. I couldn’t talk. I was really taken aback because I couldn’t really absorb it.”

The girls, Samantha and Gianna Rucki, were 14 and 13 when they ran from their Lakeville home April 18, 2013, during a contentious custody battle.

Their mother, Sandra Grazzini-Rucki, will be sentenced Sept. 21 after a Dakota County jury found her guilty of six felony counts of depravation of parental rights in July.

In court, she admitted to hiding the girls from Rucki and police, falsely claiming she did not know where they were after leaving them with strangers at a rural Minnesota horse ranch in 2013 and never interacting with the girls again.

Lakeville police, methodically following leads in an investigation that Grazzini-Rucki and fellow uncooperative accomplices sought to derail, discovered the girls at the ranch Nov. 18, 2015.

Continue reading this Sun Thisweek story.

 

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