- Associated Press - Thursday, November 26, 2015

HASTINGS, Minn. (AP) - Some details have emerged about the lives of two Lakeville sisters who were found on a western Minnesota horse ranch more than two years after they disappeared from public view.

Gianna Rucki, 16, and Samantha Rucki, 17, were found last week and their mother, Sandra Grazzini-Rucki, faces six counts of deprivation of parental rights. Authorities allege Grazzini-Rucki left the teens at the ranch in April 2013 in the midst of a custody dispute.

According to a petition for child protection filed by Dakota County, one of the sisters told police she hadn’t seen her mother “in years” and assumed she was incarcerated. The Star Tribune reported (https://strib.mn/1R8mEBw ) the girls also told investigators they were home-schooled and helped with ranch chores.

The petition said the girls are overall healthy, but they haven’t had medical care in more than two years so they are behind on routine immunizations.

The Dakota County petition asks the court to ensure the sisters have “a safe and stable living environment where their needs can be addressed and met.”

The petition said that after the girls were found, they were evaluated at a hospital and then placed in foster care. The petition said foster care was in the girls’ best interest after a social worker spoke with their father, David Rucki, and law enforcement.

Grazzini-Rucki’s attorney, Michelle MacDonald, criticized the placement of the children in foster care.

“Why are they not living with their mother right now?” MacDonald said.

Before they disappeared, the teens had repeatedly accused their father of abuse, but a court-appointed psychologist found that Grazzini-Rucki had brainwashed them. In November 2013, Dakota County Judge David Knutson granted Rucki full custody, saying there was no credible evidence that he had abused them.

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Information from: Star Tribune, https://www.startribune.com

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