Miya Rudd Missing, Missing 8-month-Old Girl Since April

The decomposed body of 8-month-old Miya Rudd was discovered in a cluttered home in Ohio County, Kentucky, on Friday, according to Kentucky State Police (KSP). Miya had not been seen since April, and investigators were only recently notified of her disappearance. The tragic discovery concluded a week-long search in the rural area southeast of Owensboro. Miya’s parents, Tesla Tucker, 29, and Cage Rudd, 30, are currently facing charges, including drug possession, child abuse, and abandonment of a minor. They have been arrested and are awaiting arraignment.

Cluttered Home

KSP Trooper Corey King explained that the search warrant required a thorough inspection of the family’s home. “The investigator was fulfilling the search warrant requirements by going piece by piece. We knew we were going to search this house high and low and look through every part of this residence,” King said. The home was found to be very cluttered, with Miya’s body discovered under debris. The search on Friday included multiple locations, such as an area of the home’s backyard where investigators looked for any signs linked to Miya.

Emotional Impact

The discovery of Miya’s body has had a profound impact on both the investigators and the local community. King noted the emotional toll, saying, “In fact, we were really optimistic, just like the rest of the community. We were hopeful that maybe someone was holding this baby. But noticing how we had cadaver dogs, how we were sifting through debris in the backyard, we obviously knew, in the back of our mind, that the end result wasn’t going to be overly promising.” The community, along with the investigators, is beginning to heal, though the investigation is far from over.

Broad Investigation

The search for Miya uncovered an alleged drug ring involving multiple arrests. Besides Miya’s parents, the police arrested her paternal grandparents, Billie J. Smith and Ricky Smith. Billie Smith was arrested on a domestic violence warrant, while Ricky Smith faces charges of abandonment of a minor and drug offenses. The baby’s maternal grandparents, Taletha Tucker and David Tucker, were arrested on unrelated charges in Daviess County. Additionally, Timothy Roach was arrested for throwing unprescribed suboxone under a vehicle as troopers arrived. Brodie Payne, living in an RV behind the home, faces numerous drug charges for his involvement in the illegal drug operation at the Rudd residence.

Community Shock

The Ohio County community is in shock, trying to piece together what happened to Miya. Angie Johnson, a resident of nearby Hawesville, expressed the community’s disbelief: “It’s caught everybody off guard, I think. They’re just devastated because you don’t think things like that happen.” The case, initially a missing persons investigation, expanded significantly due to the uncovering of a drug trafficking operation, further complicating the search for answers.

Legal Proceedings

Miya’s parents, Tesla Tucker and Cage Rudd, will be arraigned next week for the charge of abandoning a minor. Without their cooperation, investigators had to search extensively. “Without any cooperation from the people that should know where this child is, this (searching) is what we have to do,” King said before the body was discovered. The timeline of Miya’s death is still unclear, as investigators continue to piece together the details of her disappearance and death.

Further Steps

The body of Miya Rudd will be taken by the Ohio County Coroner’s Office and transported to the Kentucky Medical Examiner’s Office in Louisville. The investigation now shifts to determining the cause of death. King emphasized the significance of this step: “It’s heartbreaking. I think this, at least, at this point, is somewhat closure, not only to our investigators but the community at large. … For the community as well as our detectives, this is the beginning of starting to heal and having that closure we need. But it’s far from being over.”

Community Healing

As the investigation progresses, the community and investigators alike are beginning the healing process. The discovery of Miya’s body, while tragic, provides a sense of closure that is essential for moving forward. The case has highlighted the importance of community vigilance and cooperation with law enforcement to prevent such tragedies in the future. The support and solidarity of the Ohio County community will be crucial in the coming weeks and months as they continue to cope with the loss of Miya Rudd.

Final Thoughts

The case of Miya Rudd has deeply affected everyone involved. From the emotional toll on investigators to the community’s shock and sorrow, the impact is far-reaching. The legal proceedings against those involved and the ongoing investigation into Miya’s death are essential steps toward justice and closure. As Ohio County begins to heal, the memory of Miya Rudd will remain in the hearts and minds of those who sought to bring her home.

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