Dakota County Attorney James Backstrom announced that Deirdre Elise Evavold, age 52, of St. Cloud, was convicted today of six counts of Deprivation of Custodial/Parental Rights in connection with the disappearance of two daughters of Sandra Grazzini-Rucki. The jury deliberated for approximately one hour. Following the jury’s verdict, Evavold was taken into custody and is being held without bail pending her sentencing which is scheduled for November 10, 2016 in Hastings.
Sandra Grazzini-Rucki was convicted of six counts of Deprivation of Parental Rights on July 28, 2016 and sentenced on two of these counts on September 21, 2016. Two cases* arising out of this incident remain: (1) Douglas Craig Dahlen – trial set for January 10, 2017 and (2) Gina Schmit Dahlen – trial set for February 7, 2017. [Both of the Dahlens reside outside of Herman, Minnesota].
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: Criminal Complaint
. While in custody, mug shots can be viewed at: Inmate Search
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.
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.