SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (AP) — A choose on Friday acquitted a southwestern Missouri lady on homicide and two different felony fees within the demise of the autistic teenage daughter that she gave up for adoption as a child.
Greene County Circuit Court docket Decide Calvin Holden discovered Rebecca Ruud not responsible of first- and second-degree homicide, tampering with proof and felony abuse or neglect of a kid however discovered her responsible on the remaining cost, illegally abandoning a corpse. The costs stemmed from the July 2017 demise of 16-year-old Savannah Leckie, whose stays have been present in a burn pit on Ruud’s distant property close to the Arkansas-Missouri border.
Ruud is scheduled to be sentenced on the final cost Sept. 15 by Holden, who heard the case as a substitute of a jury in Springfield after a change of venue from Ozark County to the southwest. Ruud may rise up to 4 years in jail.
Prosecutors described Savannah because the sufferer of extreme abuse after she left her adoptive household in Minnesota and moved to Missouri to be along with her organic mom. Ruud stated the lady disappeared after operating away as a result of she blamed herself for beginning a hearth on the household’s property.
Legal professional Normal Eric Schmitt’s workplace declined to remark in regards to the choose’s determination. A public defender representing Ruud didn’t instantly reply to a cellphone message searching for remark.
Ruud lived exterior Theodosia, a village about 250 individuals roughly 45 miles (72 kilometers) east of Branson, a well-liked trip vacation spot. In response to a possible trigger assertion filed together with the costs towards Ruud in 2017, the lady’s adoptive mom requested Ruud to take her as a result of Savannah didn’t get alongside along with her adoptive mom’s fiancé.
Authorities stated that after the lady moved to Missouri, she was home-schooled and had “nearly no social contacts.”
Ruud reported Savannah lacking two days after the fireplace on the household’s distant property, authorities stated. A number of searches turned up human enamel, a meat grinder, a knife and 26 bottles of lye, which can be utilized to speed up the breakdown of bodily tissue, in accordance with courtroom paperwork. Human bone fragments have been present in a subject about 400 yards (365 meters) from Ruud’s residence, about two weeks after Savannah’s reported disappearance.
An ex-boyfriend of Ruud’s instructed investigators that he had seen her self-discipline Savannah by forcing the teenager to crawl via a hog pen and making her bathe in a pond, authorities stated. Ruud acknowledged that this was true and instructed investigators that when Savannah reduce her arm “in a suicidal gesture,” she compelled the lady to clean the wound every day with alcohol and salt as punishment.