Documents Reveal Missing Minn. Teen's Living Situation in Missouri

August 10, 2017 11:26 PM

Authorities believe the human remains found on a Missouri property are those of a missing Minnesota teenager, and documents reveal disturbing details surrounding her living situation. 

Sixteen-year-old Savannah Leckie went missing last month and now officials are focusing their investigation on her biological mother, Rebecca Ruud, and step-father.


While living in a trailer on her biological mom's property in Missouri, Leckie disappeared on July 20. A few weeks later, police found human remains in a burn pile 400 yards from where she was staying.

A search warrant shows letters and toiletries from the camper Leckie was living in. Investigators also found, clothing a notebook, and bone fragments.

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

During the investigation, Ruud admitted to disciplining Leckie, "by forcing her to crawl through a hog pen." It was also revealed that Leckie was, "forced to bathe in a pond on the property".

Authorities said Ruud and her boyfriend "have been increasingly less cooperative and have questioned law enforcement motives"

Leckie grew up with her adoptive mother in the Twin Cities, but spent the last year with her biological mom.

"Savannah was a perfect baby," said Tamile Leckie-Montague, Savannah's adoptive mother. 

For Tamile Leckie-Montague, the pictures she has are years of memories.

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

"I've gone through in my mind a lot of beautiful things I have to remember her by," Leckie-Montague said. 

Growing up with autism, Leckie-Montague and her fiancé say Savannah struggled in some areas, especially communication.

"Within her own generation age she had a lot of difficulties, so it was just a really good opportunity for her," Cary Steeves said. 

That opportunity brought Savannah Leckie to Missouri 11 months ago to live with Ruud, who she had periodic contact with.

"She needed a lot of one on one focus and the farm just seemed like a really good place for her at the moment," Steeves said. 

Despite authorities saying they believe the remains are Leckie's, some aren't ready to give up until that's confirmed.

"Even with the information that we received we try to hold on to that little bit of hope," Steeves said. 

No charges have been filed. The proper authorities still need to positively identify those human remains.


Brett Hoffland

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