The Rucki Girls have moved back into their Lakeville home, readjusting to family life in an interview the father gave to the Star Tribune this week. Here are parts of that story by Brandon Stahl:
There are moments when David Rucki said he sits back and smiles. When he sees his daughters sitting on the couch playing together. When his daughters call him Dad.
“It’s emotional,” he said. “I didn’t ever think I’d get to hear that again.”
The girls then briefly lived in foster care. Before Christmas, the family, including the sisters’ older brother and their two younger siblings, went to a reunification therapy program for a few weeks before going on vacation to Disney World.
Rucki said the girls no longer believe he abused them, and he no longer fears they will run away. That realization came at Disney World, when the girls told him they were going to go to Epcot alone. Rucki said he agreed before thinking about it.
“Then I had that moment where I asked, ‘Is this the right thing?’ ” he said. “But I had to believe and trust in the girls.”
Rucki said his daughters have told him little about their time at the ranch. They said they did chores in the mornings and evenings to stay busy. He said he didn’t know if the sisters had friends while there, but that Amish children their age visited with them at the home.
“They only let it out when they’re ready to let it out,” Rucki said. “I’m not prying. I’m giving them space and respect.”
Rucki said he wants to continue to rebuild his family and trust with his daughters.
“I want to make it home again,” he said. “That’s what is most important to me.”
Editor’s Note: In December 2015, Susan Carpenter, a writer for the Red Herring Alert and Family Court Critic commented on the Rucki girls being sent to Reunification Therapy. She said, “Reunification therapy. Oh yeah. I wrote about that once. A scam program. Susan Carpenter is a Civil and Family Court Mediator in Minnesota. I would hope after reading Brandon Stahl’s article that Carpenter will re-think republish her opinion on Reunification Therapy.
As a member of the Family Abduction Missing Children’s Community, I applaud the efforts of the Minnesota Family Court System in approving the plan to send these girls to Family Reunification Therapy. This was the right course of action for these children. I am so happy for the David Rucki and his family as well as the other Rucki siblings. This is a tear jerking story for not only me but for anyone that has had any family member or loved one victimized by this type of crime.
Later this year, we hope that the Minnesota Criminal Court System will be just as effective in prosecuting Sandra Rucki, Dede Evavold, Gina Dahlen and Doug Dahlen for their part in this horrible crime against these teenagers.