Dakota County Attorney James Backstrom announced that Deirdre Elise Evavold, age 51, of St. Cloud, Minnesota; Douglas Craig Dahlen, age 53, of Herman, Minnesota; and Gina Schmit Dahlen, age 47, also of Herman, Minnesota, have each been charged* with two counts of Deprivation of Custodial/Parental Rights (involving the concealment of a minor). These charges stem from the disappearance of two daughters of Sandra Grazzini-Rucki, who was previously charged in connection with taking and concealing these children in violation of District Court custody orders.
The allegations contained in the complaint reflect that the two girls (then ages 13 and 14) ran from their Lakeville home on April 19, 2013, and were picked up by Grazzini-Rucki. Prior to their disappearance, a Dakota County district court judge transferred the physical custody of Grazzini-Rucki’s five children, including the two girls, to a paternal aunt who was going to reside with the children in their family home. Within 10 minutes after arriving at the family home, the girls disappeared. On November 25, 2013, the district court judge awarded sole legal and physical custody of the five children to their father. The whereabouts of the girls was unknown until November 18, 2015, when officers executed a search warrant at Dahlen’s residence. It is alleged that the girls were dropped off at Dahlen’s residence by Grazzini-Rucki and Evavold on April 21, 2013, where the girls remained until being found on November 18, 2015.
Additional facts pertaining to this case can be found in the criminal complaints which are located online at: https://www.co.dakota.mn.us/LawJustice/CriminalComplaint/Pages/default.aspx
. While in custody, mug shots can be viewed at: https://www.co.dakota.mn.us/LawJustice/Jail/Pages/inmate-search.aspx
The investigation into this matter has been extensive and Backstrom thanked the Lakeville Police Department and the U.S. Marshal’s Office for their hard work on this case.
Dakota County Attorney James Backstrom commented: “Concealing children and keeping them from a parent for over two and half years in violation of a court order is unconscionable.”
Deirdre Evavold, Douglas Dahlen, and Gina Dahlen are being summoned to court to face these charges. Their first appearances in court in Hastings are anticipated in the next month.
If you have questions, contact James Backstrom at 651-438-4438
*Criminal charges are not evidence of guilt. A defendant/suspect is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.