Missouri woman acquitted of murder in teen daughter’s death after judge deliberates for nearly a month – Fox News
A judge acquitted Rebecca Ruud of murder and two other felony charges in the death of her autistic teenage daughter. However, Ruud was found guilty of illegally abandoning a corpse. Ruud could get up to four years in prison.
Savannah left her adoptive family in Minnesota and moved to Missouri to be with her biological mother. Prosecutors said Savannah was the victim of severe abuse by her adoptive parents. The girl disappeared after running away because she blamed herself for starting a fire.
Ruud took Savannah from her adoptive mother because she did not get along with her fiancé. Ruud was found living outside Theodosia, Missouri, with her daughter.
Authorities said that after moving to Missouri, Savannah was home-schooled and had “almost no social contacts”.
Human teeth, a grinder for meat, and 26 bottles of Lye were found near the family’s remote property.
An ex-boyfriend of Ruud’s told investigators that she forced Savannah to crawl through a hog pen and bathe in a pond as punishment for cutting her arm. He also shared that Savannah had cut her arm in a suicide gesture.
The state presented evidence that Ruud had abused Savannah and called a former inmate who testified that Ruud had confessed to her that she had killed Savannah. However, the judge did not feel the state had met its burden of proof for the murder charges.
Savannah’s adopted mother Tamile Montague said she was devastated when she got word of the verdict, and that achieving closure would also be difficult.
For more details on this case, please consider the news outlets listed below.
- Missouri woman acquitted of murder in teen daughter’s death after judge deliberates for nearly a month Fox News
Ozark County woman Rebecca Ruud found not guilty of murder in daughter’s death Springfield News-Leader
- Missouri woman acquitted of murder in teen daughter’s death The Washington Post