After 20 years of marriage, Sandra Grazzini-Rucki filed for divorce. She accused her husband, Dave Rucki, of abusing her and their five children. A court-appointed psychologist reported that Sandra had manipulated the kids into believing their father had been abusive — and that there was no evidence of abuse. Sandra lost custody of her five children. One of the five kids, Nico, says his mother told all of the children to run away before being taken from her. Two of them, Samantha (then 14) and Gianna (13), disappeared shortly after.
According to the police, Sandra Rucki and her friend Dede Evavold left Samantha and Gianna at White Horse Ranch in Herman, Minnesota. The ranch is a nonprofit organization, owned by Doug and Gina Dahlen, which helps “broken children” heal by working with rescue horses. Some media outlets including family abduction watchdogs allege that Sandra, Evavold and the Dahlens are part of a larger network of anti-family court activists — who work outside the law to decide kids’ fates. Evavold and the Dahlens have each been charged with two felony counts of deprivation of custodial rights for their involvement in the disappearance of the two Rucki girls. (One count for each girl.) Sandra Grazzini-Rucki and her husband Dave will be interviewed on ABC 20/20, separately, by Elizabeth Vargas on April 8 at 10pm.