Body of Missing Infant Found

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Police in Kentucky have found human remains consistent with 8-month-old Miya Rudd, who had been missing since April 2024. The discovery was made during a welfare check in Reynolds Station, leading to the arrests of several family members.

Miya Rudd, previously identified as Miya Tucker, was last seen by her family in April. When Kentucky State Police responded to a welfare check on June 6, they could not locate her. Miya’s parents, Tesla Tucker, 29, and Cage Rudd, 30, initially claimed that child services had taken her, a claim that was later determined to be false.

During the welfare check, police found drug paraphernalia, including methamphetamine, in the home. According to an arrest affidavit, Miya’s umbilical cord had tested positive for methamphetamine when she was born in October 2023, raising concerns about her exposure to drugs. Subsequently, Miya’s parents were arrested, along with her grandfather Ricky Smith, 56, on several charges related to her disappearance.

On June 14, troopers discovered an infant’s body hidden inside the Rudd residence. The Kentucky State Police stated, “The decomposed body was located inside the residence, hidden in a concealed manner.” The remains were taken to the Kentucky Medical Examiner’s Office in Louisville for further examination.

On June 17, the suspects appeared in court. Miya’s parents and grandfather, along with another individual, Brodie Payne, 28, who had been living at the residence, were charged with abuse of a corpse, tampering with evidence, and failure to report a death. They all entered automatic “not guilty” pleas during their court appearances.

Detective Dalton Mellott of the Kentucky State Police described the troubling conditions in the home, noting the presence of meth residue in a room containing a bassinet and diapers. He also mentioned the discovery of 61 pills of Trazodone and unused syringes. The investigation revealed two handguns in a bedroom and a muzzleloader in the attic.

Law enforcement officials also arrested Miya’s grandparents, Taletha D. Tucker, 50, and David Tucker, 53, who were caring for Tesla Tucker’s three other children. These children have since been removed from their care. Ricky Smith’s attorney pointed out that the methamphetamine was not found in Smith’s residence but in the main house. Nonetheless, the judge found probable cause for all charges and referred the case to the Ohio County Grand Jury.

A GoFundMe page set up by a woman identifying herself as Miya’s aunt aims to raise funds for the infant’s memorial. The fundraiser states, “We are devastated due to this tragedy and need your help in raising enough money to give her the proper burial and memorial she deserves.” The effort has raised over $6900.

Kentucky State Police have emphasized that the investigation is ongoing, and more charges may be forthcoming. They have urged anyone with information about Miya’s disappearance to come forward.

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