Judge sentences Rebecca Ruud for abandoning her daughter’s corpse in Ozark County

Rebecca Ruud/Greene County Courtroom
Rebecca Ruud/Greene County Courtroom(ky3)
Published: Sep. 15, 2022 at 10:29 AM CDT|Updated: Sep. 15, 2022 at 10:30 AM CDT
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SPRINGFIELD, Mo. (KY3) - A judge sentenced a mother in a case involving her daughter’s death in Ozark County.

A judge found Rebecca Ruud guilty of abandoning her daughter’s corpse. The state had charged her with murder in the death of Savannah Leckie. The judge sentenced her to four years in prison. However, the judge credited her with nearly 1,800 days served.

Investigators argued Ruud killed Leckie, then burned her remains on an Ozark County farm. The state called two former inmates jailed with Ruud as critical witnesses in the case on Wednesday. They testified she confessed in jail to the murder.

The defense argued she placed the teen’s body in a burn pile but did not kill her. They say Leckie committed suicide, and Ruud panicked when she found her daughter dead.

Judge Calvin Holden decided there was reasonable doubt Ruud did the crime because of a lack of evidence.

The state dismissed all charges against Robert Peat, Jr., Ruud’s estranged husband.

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