Parents, grandparents of missing 8-month-old in Kentucky arrested as police search for baby in woods

Kentucky State Police used cadaver dogs Tuesday to search woods near the home of missing 8-month-old Miya Tucker, but reported no findings as nightfall approached .

“We have no evidence that she is deceased,” State Trooper Corey King told NBC affiliate WFIE in Evansville, Indiana. “But we also have no proof that she is alive.”

The girl’s parents, Tesla Tucker, 29, and Cage Rudd, 30; grandparents Billie J. Smith, 49, and Ricky J. Smith, 56; and a fifth person, identified as Timothy L. Roach, was arrested.


Miya Tucker, 8 months.Kentucky State Police via Facebook

All are from the Reynolds Station area except Roach, who is from Owensboro, police said.

It is unclear whether the suspects have retained an attorney. The area’s public defender did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Some of the five were in court Monday, but it’s unclear exactly what happened. Additional court appearances were scheduled for Wednesday.

State police announced the arrests of Miya’s parents, as well as her grandfather, on Thursday. All three were convicted on allegations of child abandonment and fentanyl-related charges.

King, the state trooper, told WFIE that the parents were contacted at a Motel 6 in Kentucky, in a room where drugs, including fentanyl pills and methamphetamine, were “in plain view.”

Miya wasn’t there, he said.

State police announced Sunday that Miya’s grandmother was also arrested — she discovered she had an active arrest warrant for domestic violence on her record — when she went to her home to search for the girl.

Additionally, they said, at the grandmother’s home, they saw a man, identified as Roach, throwing “non-prescribed” drugs under her vehicle, leading to his arrest on suspicion of having a controlled substance.

It is unclear what relationship Roach has with the family, if any.

King told WFIE that a family member said Miya hadn’t been seen since late April. Furthermore, he lamented that her relatives had the least information for the authorities who were looking for her.

He said when the girl was born in October, her umbilical cord tested positive for methamphetamine. King said Miya had three older siblings who were removed from her home by state authorities citing suspected drug problems.

The State Cabinet for Health and Family Services also intended to remove Miya, King said.

Her parents told authorities the girl had previously been taken away by the Cabinet, but King said that was not true.

King, a state police spokesman in the Reynolds Station area, about 90 miles southwest of Louisville, said investigators were still hopeful Miya could be found alive.

But he warned: “The longer this goes on, the darker the outcome will be.”

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