LAKEVILLE, MN (WTXF) - Two sisters who have been missing from their Lakeville, Minnesota, home in 2013 were found safe and unharmed Wednesday afternoon.
Samantha Rucki, 16 and Gianna Rucki, 17 disappeared in April 2013 during a bitter custody dispute between their parents, David Rucki and Sandra Grazzini-Rucki.
Before they vanished, the girls claimed their father was physically and emotionally abusing them. However, he claimed this accusation was a lie resulting from the girls' mother in her attempts to turn his daughters against him.
Authorities have suspected that the girls' mother, Grazzini-Rucki, helped them run away, though she has denied knowing their whereabouts. She is currently serving time in Dakota County jail for felony deprivation of parental rights.
The girls ended up running away from their father in April of 2013 and hadn't seen them since--until U.S. marshals discovered them on a horse farm in Herman, Minnesota.
Initially searching the farm for evidence in the missing persons' case, the marshals luckily found the sisters themselves.
Authorities searched the home of a woman, Dede Evavold, an alleged supporter of the "Protective Parent" movement. Officials believe the girls hid with the help of an underground network of critics of the family court system.
David Rucki was granted full custody of his daughters in November 2013 after determining that there were no credible signs of abuse, and they will be reunited soon.
"The sisters will return to Dakota County where the unification process can begin," Lakeville police said in a statement. "Both the Dakota County Attorney's Office and the Lakeville Police Department ask for respect and privacy of the Rucki family during the reunification period."