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Teen Lakeville sisters not seen since 2013 found at MN horse ranch


Two Lakeville teenage sisters missing since they ran away in 2013 have been found at a horse farm in Minnesota.

The Star Tribune reports Gianna and Samantha Rucki were found by police after a search warrant was executed at The White Horse Ranch near Herman, about 30 miles west of Alexandria, on Wednesday afternoon.

Police believe the pair, now aged 17 and 16, have received help from an "underground network" since they ran away from home in April 2013 in the midst of a bitter custody dispute between their parents, the newspaper notes.

Their mother, Sandra Grazzini-Rucki, was arrested in Florida last month and charged with three counts of felony deprivation rights, suggesting she helped her daughters disappear, and Lakeville police said in a press release that more charges associated with the case may be forthcoming.

Lakeville PD says officers searched the ranch alongside U.S. Marshals and the Grant County Sheriff's Department in the early hours of Wednesday, with the sisters "found safe and in seemingly good health at the residence where the Search Warrant was executed."

Lakeville Police Chief Jeff Long confirmed in an email to BringMeTheNews that officers are currently at the ranch with the girls. The statement adds the sisters will be brought back to Dakota County where they will be reunited with their family.

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The charges against Grazzini-Rucki say she had been "aiding, advising or conspiring to conceal a minor child" from her ex-husband David Rucki, who has legal custody of the girls, according to a criminal complaint. The 50-year-old's bail was set at $1 million.

Grazzini-Rucki had accused David Rucki of abusing her and the girls. But David Rucki has denied the allegations and says his ex-wife brainwashed the girls.

This claim of brainwashing was backed by a court-appointed psychologist, the Forum News Service reported. In November 2013, a Dakota County judge granted full custody to David Rucki saying there was no credible evidence that they were abused.

"The Deprivation of Parental Rights charges against the girls’ mother, Sandra Grazzini Rucki, are part of an ongoing investigation," the Lakeville PD statement added. "Charges may be forthcoming against additional persons involved in the girls’ disappearance.

"Both the Dakota County Attorney’s Office and the Lakeville Police Department ask for respect and privacy of the Rucki family during the reunification period," it finished.

The White Horse Ranch describes itself on its website as a "non-profit, faith-based horse ranch where children and families can experience healing and wholeness through animals and the grace of God's love."

The website and the White Horse Facebook page went offline on Wednesday afternoon.

The Star Tribune spoke to someone at the ranch, who said: "We respectfully ask you to back off," before hanging up.

Following the news, the Wetterling Resource Center, set up following the 1989 abduction of 11-year-old Jacob Wetterling in St. Joseph, commented on the girls' discovery.

"We are thankful for all of the people who helped make today's amazing development happen," it said on Facebook. "We hope the public will give the family some space as the next steps in their story unfold."

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