Dogs search for missing Kentucky baby whose parents and grandfather face drug, abandonment charges

REYNOLDS STATION, Ky. (AP) — Cadaver dogs searched Tuesday for a missing western Kentucky baby whose parents and grandfather face child abandonment and drug charges, police said.

Kentucky State Police announced last week that troopers were searching for 8-month-old Miya Rudd. Trooper Corey King said the baby's three older siblings were removed from their home by state officials some time ago and were being cared for by family members, WFIE-TV reported. When Miya was born in October, her umbilical cord tested positive for methamphetamine and she was to be removed too, King said. However, around May 30, relatives notified police that they had not seen the baby since late April.

As they searched for the baby, police found her parents at a hotel, but not the baby, King said. The parents told investigators that state officials took the baby, but records do not show that, he said.

Miya’s parents, Tesla Tucker and Cage Rudd, and her grandfather, Ricky J. Smith, were arrested and charged with child abuse and abandonment and several drug offenses, police said in news releases. A public defender appointed to represent them did not immediately return a call seeking comment on their behalf.

King said cadaver dogs were used Tuesday to search a church, cemetery and a wooded area behind the family’s Reynolds Station home. In an email Wednesday, King said that there were no updates in the search and police plan to bring in ground sonar equipment and a forensic examiner team later in the week.

He said investigators have received valuable tips and are asking anyone with information to come forward.

“It really shocked us as an agency looking for a missing child, that we’re getting very little information from the family, the ones who should love and care the most,” King said.

They don’t have evidence that the baby is dead, but they don’t have anything that suggests she is alive either, he said.

“Either way, everyone’s looking for closure,” King said. “I believe the community deserves it, the family deserves it, and we as an agency investigating this deserve to know what happened to baby Miya.”

The Associated Press