Infant Remains Found in Ky. Home amid Search for Missing 8-Month-Old Miya Rudd

Miya's parents and two others were charged with abuse of a corpse and evidence tampering after an infant's remains were allegedly found in the Rudd home

<p>Kentucky State Police</p> Miya Tucker / Miya Rudd

Kentucky State Police

Miya Tucker / Miya Rudd
  • Miya Rudd was last seen in April 2024, police say

  • Her parents and her grandfather Ricky Smith were arrested in connection with the disappearance

  • Now, four people have been charged with evidence tampering and abuse of a corpse in connection with discovery of an infant's body, per police

Police in Kentucky say they have recovered remains “consistent” with 8-month-old Miya Rudd, whose disappearance since April has led to arrests of several of her family members.

On June 6, Kentucky State Police responded to a welfare check in Reynolds Station, Ky., and could not locate Miya, the department said in a statement earlier this month. (Miya was previously identified by the department as Miya Tucker, but has been named Miya Rudd in their follow-up statements).

In the ensuing investigation, police arrested the infant's parents Tesla Tucker, 29, and Cage Rudd, 30, and her grandfather Ricky Smith on several charges in connection with her disappearance.

<p>Daviess County Detention Center</p> Miya Rudd's mother Tesla Tucker (left), and father Cage Rudd

Daviess County Detention Center

Miya Rudd's mother Tesla Tucker (left), and father Cage Rudd

Miya was last seen in April by her family members, according to an arrest affidavit cited by the Courier Journal. When police initially went to her home, her parents told them she had been taken by child services — a claim police allegedly determined to be false, News 14 and K 105 reported, citing authorities.

In the home, authorities allegedly found drug paraphernalia, including methamphetamine, during the welfare check, heightening their fears about Miya's potential exposure to drugs. When she was born in October 2023, her umbilical cord tested positive for methamphetamine, Kentucky State Police previously said, per News 14.

On June 14, troopers found a “decomposed body,” which they say was “hidden in a concealed manner” in the Rudd residence, the department said in a statement. The remains are suspected to be Miya’s.

“The decomposed body was located inside the residence hidden in a concealed manner,” the statement reads.

The remains were taken to the Kentucky Medical Examiner’s Office in Louisville, the Ohio County Coroner’s Office confirmed with PEOPLE. The coroner's office declined to comment further citing the pending investigation.

Related: What Happened to Miya Tucker? 3 Relatives Have Been Arrested in Connection with Mysterious April Disappearance

<p>GoFundMe</p> Miya Rudd


Miya Rudd

On the day they discovered the remains, authorities charged Tucker, Rudd and Smith with additional charges of abuse of a corpse, evidence tampering and failing to report a death, according to the statement.

Brodie C. Payne, 28, was also charged with the same offenses, the statement said. Payne, who had been living in the Rudd residence for several months, was initially arrested on drug charges and charges related to organized crime among other offenses.

Tucker and Rudd were previously charged with child abandonment and drug possession among other offenses, police said in their June 6 statement. Smith had previously been charged with child abuse, child abandonment, drug trafficking and possession of firearms by a felon, state police said in a statement shared with PEOPLE. 

Authorities had also arrested both of Miya's grandmothers and her other grandfather during their investigation, but they were not charged in connection with her disappearance. Her grandparents Taletha D. Tucker, 50, and David Tucker, 53, were taking care of Tesla's three other children, who have since been removed from their care.

<p>Kentucky State Police, Daviess County Jail</p> Miya Rudd's grandfather Ricky Smith (left), and family friend Brodie C. Payne

Kentucky State Police, Daviess County Jail

Miya Rudd's grandfather Ricky Smith (left), and family friend Brodie C. Payne

A GoFundMe set up by a woman identifying herself as Miya's aunt says they are raising funds for her memorial.

"We are absolutely devastated due to this tragedy and need your help in raising enough money to give her the proper burial and memorial she deserves," the fundraiser reads in part.

In an update on the GoFundMe, it says relatives are starting their preparation for a funeral. Police are yet to identify the remains as Miya's.

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It wasn't immediately clear if the four detained individuals have entered pleas or retained attorneys to speak on their behalf.

An investigation is ongoing, troopers said in their statement, adding that there may be additional charges to come.

If you suspect child abuse, call the Childhelp National Child Abuse Hotline at 1-800-4-A-Child or 1-800-422-4453, or go to All calls are toll-free and confidential. The hotline is available 24/7 in more than 170 languages.

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