Ozark County Sheriff Describes Process in Search for Missing Minnesota Teen

August 11, 2017 10:46 AM

The Ozark County (Missouri) Sheriff's Department said the biological mother of a missing Minnesota 16-year-old was uncooperative when authorities sought to search the farm on which she and Savannah Leckie were residing.

A release said authorities later obtained a search warrant and discovered burnt human remains beneath a brush pile. Those remains have been sent to a crime lab in Springfield, Missouri, to be analyzed.


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But, as of yet, the release states they have not been positively identified.

Leckie grew up with her adoptive mother in the Twin Cities but spent the last year with her biological mom Rebecca Ruud. While living in a trailer on her biological mom's property in Missouri, Leckie disappeared on July 20. 

The release states it was Ruud who called authorities on July 20 to report she had not seen her daughter since 11 p.m. the night before. The sheriff's department and volunteer fire and rescue teams began the search, assisted by a helicopter from a neighboring county's sheriff's department.

RELATED: Remains Found Near Area Where Minnesota Teen was Last Seen in Missouri

According to the release from Ozark County Sheriff Darrin Reed, Ruud "started becoming agitated at me and my staff for wanting to keep searching the 81-acre farm for Savannah."

That led to authorities obtaining a search warrant on Aug. 4.

RELATED: Adopted Mom Speaks About Teen Now Feared Dead in Missouri

"The gate was locked and a courtesy call was made to Mrs. Ruud who then met us at the gate," Reed said in the release. "We asked permission to search the grounds again and (were) refused access. At this time, we executed our search warrant."

A search using cadaver dogs led authorities to the brush pile where the remains were discovered.


Frank Rajkowski

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