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Bones Identified-Missing Girl

A Missouri woman was charged with killing her autistic daughter

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A Missouri woman is facing charges after police say she killed the autistic daughter she gave up for adoption as a baby.

Rebecca Ruud, 39, is charged with first-degree murder, abuse of a child resulting in death and second-degree felony murder in the killing of her 16-year-old biological daughter, Savannah Leckie. Ozark County Prosecutor John Garrabrant said she is also charged with tampering with physical evidence and abandoning a corpse. It is unclear whether anyone else will be charged, but Sheriff Darrin Reed said the investigation is ongoing.

According to official documents, Rudd reported a fire on July 18 at the property where she and her husband live in Theodosia, Missouri. At the time, Rudd told officials she was burned while trying to save her daughter from the fire.

A few days later, Rudd reported Savannah missing. Investigators said Rudd gave various accounts of how she was injured. The girl's mother also told authorities Savannah ran away because she blamed herself for starting the fire.

After searching the property multiple times, authorities found human teeth, a meat grinder, a knife and 26 bottles of lye, according to court documents.

On Aug. 4, human bone fragments were found about 400 yards from the home. A forensic analysis later positively identified the remains as Savannah's.

Rudd was arrested at a Greyhound Bus station on Saturday and is currently being held in the Ozark County jail.

Savannah spent most of her life in Minnesota and moved back in with her mother last November. After moving to Missouri, Savannah was home-schooled and had "almost no social contacts," according to an affidavit.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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