Biological mother of teen whose remains were found in burn pit charged with murder

16-year-old Savannah Leckie's remains were found in a burn pit.
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The biological mother of 16-year-old Savannah Leckie is now charged with murder, after burned remains were identified as the teenager's.

Leckie had lived with her adoptive parents in Minnesota for most of her life, but last year moved to rural Longrun, Missouri, to stay with her biological mother, Rebecca Ruud.

But Leckie was reported missing on July 20. On Aug. 9, authorities made a grim discovery – "burned skeletal remains" on Ruud's property.

On Monday this week they identified the remains as belonging to Leckie and arrested Ruud.

Now, she's facing criminal charges.

The Ozark County Times reports Ruud was charged Tuesday with first- and second-degree murder, neglect of a child resulting in death, tampering with evidence, and leaving a corpse.

According to the Baxter Bulletin, the 39-year-old Ruud was arrested at a Greyhound bus station.

The Ozark County Times uploaded the charges here.

The document shows Ruud told authorities about punishing Leckie by having her roll in a hog pen, pouring sat and alcohol on a cut, and spraying her with a hose.

The charges say multiple fires were lit at the property, where Ruud and her husband lived, around the time the teen went missing. Firefighters responded to one on July 18 in which Ruud suffered burn injuries. Ruud said Leckie was burned as well but wouldn't let firefighters see her or even get near the residence.

During a search of the property later, investigators found a meat grinder and 26 bottles of lye – a substance that can help break down tissue, The Associated Press reports.

Other suspects could still face charges in the case.

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